Our Endless Numbered Days starts with Peggy, a 17 year old who has recently returned to her family after many years and having obviously suffered some traumatic experience. The book then flashes back 9 years where we meet 8 year old Peggy, her German pianist mother, Ute, and her survivalist father, James. One evening while Ute is away on tour, James and Peggy take off. Their destination is Die Hütte, the exact location of which is something of a mystery. As we’re relying on Peggy to tell us what’s happening and as she has only a vague idea what’s happening herself, details are a bit hazy. The world has been destroyed, James tells Peggy, your mother and everyone else is dead, we are the only people left. And so, their tale of survival begins.
First the positive, I really did want to find out what exactly had happened to Peggy and James, how they managed and how Peggy ended up back home. The structure of this novel works very well, with gaps in the past gradually being filled in. I thought the plot was an interesting one with a lot of potential. However, I did think the pacing was a little bit off as the downside to Peggy never knowing what day/month/year it is that the reader is somewhat at a loss as to where we are timewise also. Peggy herself is a difficult character to warm to although her ordeal may have caused her to disassociate herself somewhat from her surroundings. The plot is disturbing and the ending shocking if not altogether surprising.
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.