The New York Times bestselling novel
Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. Then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they've barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.
Madison's twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their carer. However, there's a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it's the truth.
Thinking of her dead-end life at home, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison's buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her. Couldn't this be the start of the amazing life she'd always hoped for?
Kevin Wilson is the author of the collections Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which received an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the Shirley Jackson Award, and Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine, as well as two novels: The Family Fang and Perfect Little World. He lives with his family in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he is an associate professor in the English department at the University of the South.
'Marries the fantastic with the domestic' Millions
'Good Lord, I can't believe how good this book is...It's wholly original. It's also perfect...Wilson writes with such a light touch that it seems fairly impossible for the book to have a big emotional payoff. But there is, and that's the brilliance of the novel—that it distracts you with these weirdo characters and mesmerizing and funny sentences and then hits you in a way you didn't see coming. You're laughing so hard you don't even realize that you've suddenly caught fire.' New York Times
His most perfect novel. Paradoxically light and melancholy, it hews to the border of fantasy but stays in the land of realism.' Washington Post
'[A] deadpan, hilarious modern fairy tale complete with impoverished heroine, cruel princess and neglected children with magical powers...You'll close the covers with a smile.' Newsday