Claire Fuller: Our Endless Numbered Days

Our Endless Numbered Days is a work of literary fiction focusing on the idea of survival, an almost “end of the world” novel. It follows Peggy who, one day, is whisked away by her Dad to live in a German forest having been told that her Mother and the rest of the world have all perished following a storm. It follows Peggy’s struggles to accept this idea that her and her Dad are the last remaining human beings and how they adapt without the possessions held so dear by those of civilised society.

The premise of this novel was entirely what drew me to the novel. I love a good survival novel, end of the world, post-apocalyptic, dystopian… You name it, I love them. The way that Fuller sets up the narrative to represent this helps to fully understand why Peggy and her Dad just upped and left as you jump back and forth between past and present. During these bouts of prolepsis, you begin to understand how Peggy has had to adapt to a world that she believed no longer existed and how living in the forest has affected her way of thinking etc. On the contrary, I felt that Fuller could have done a lot better on the whole in presenting this premise. I was hoping to feel some sense of dread, some fears and dark emotions but it is only towards the end of the novel that these start to emerge and even then not to the extent that I was hoping for. A lot more could have been done to up the effect of isolation and the end of the world.

The protagonist, Peggy, appears realistic, relatable throughout the novel; from the beginning when she is a young child with temper tantrums to the moment she flourishes into a young adult. Even in a situation that may not be entirely realistic/relatable for much of the human race, she retains her sense of character and humanity and I found myself liking her from the offset.

Overall I thought the book was good, but not the best. I wasn’t really shocked, thrilled, surprised. I got hints of emotion but nothing I would expect from a typical novel of this genre and found that this made the novel a bit lacklustre in relation to this.

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