Nothing On Earth by Conor O’Callaghan
When a lonely young girl knocks on a stranger’s door, it’s the man that answers whose life will change forever. He listens patiently to the girl’s disjointed story, as she explains the slow disappearance of everyone she loves and the neighbours who saw it all happen. Listens to details of her home in an abandoned housing estate where water was a rare gift and days were whiled away sunbathing. But the girl’s story is far-fetched, loose and confusing. Is she telling the truth or is something even darker casting a shadow over her home?
I came to Nothing On Earth knowing absolutely nothing about the plot but it soon became very clear that this is a real gem of a novel, one I hadn’t heard much about but mesmerised me right from the beginning. The characters aren’t often named, adding a touch of mystery, the locations have a touch of fantasy with their very separate communities and sense of abandonment. What this book doesn’t give you is any hard set facts but that’s one of the reasons I loved it. Does it have an sci-fi/fantasy twist? Is the girl telling the truth about her missing family? Is she a victim, an innocent? Or does she know far more than she’s letting on? A couple of weeks after finishing this and I still can’t pretend I have any of those answers and wouldn’t have a clue how to classify it but I find myself thinking about it still every now and then. The tale crawled under my skin and it looks like it has no intention of going anywhere soon. I’ll definitely be picking it up again in the future to see if I unearth anything with a second read.
Unique, unsettling and utterly compelling Nothing on Earth is going delight readers looking for something challenging but enjoyable.
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