‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ – Claire Fuller

Our Endless Numbered Days


As an adult reader, when we are first introduced to Peggy looking at the picture of her father there is a definite sense of things not being quite right. I read in amazement and horror as Peggy recounted the build-up to her father taking her to live in a remote cabin in the woods. I couldn’t believe that nobody did anything to intervene, and I was also surprised at Peggy’s childish acceptance of her situation.

Her naive acceptance of her father’s claim that there has been a storm which has destroyed the rest of the world is so off-kilter that, from that point onwards, I was reading with a sense of waiting for the awful events that I imagined happening to unravel.

There was a lot in the description of Peggy’s daily life that reminded me of Emma Donoghue’s ‘Room’. It was claustrophobic, desperately unsettling and certainly not something that I envisaged would end well.

I did find the switches from the past to the present day a little disconcerting at times. The book also felt a lot stronger in the final section as we see things slowly build to their inevitable climax. Strangely, I felt that the more interesting story was the one that we can sense building up at the end of the novel when Peggy returns to her family home. A powerful read though, which unsettled me more after I had closed the pages for the final time.