Bought off the back of a Facebook review, I thought ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ would be a quick beach read; something simple to keep my brain occupied between putting on suntan lotion and picking sand from my belly button. Little did I know that it would end up being a book that would capture my imagination, so much so that I would look for any excuse to read just a couple more pages.
Peggy Hillcoat is taken into the woods by her survivalist father and told that the world around them has ended. Amongst those who have perished is her beloved concert pianist mother; beyond the cliffs lies The Great Divide; and that, somehow, they have managed to evade death along with the squirrels, deer, and fish, she is told. Over the course of nine years, they do all they can to survive through plentiful summers and harsh winters. As Peggy plays ‘La Campanella’ on a crude, homemade piano, her father seems plagued by the memory of her mother. When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest, the realisation of what brought her to be there in the first place is revealed and the quest to get back to her mother and a life interrupted begins.
‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ is completely addictive and I can’t help but wish it had a couple hundred more pages. It was a reminder of what made me start reading in the first place all those years ago, including that “must know what happens next” feeling that can lead to sleepless nights, undone work, and a somewhat lost sense of reality – life interrupted, I guess.