This was such a fun, unusual book. It follows our main character Lillian who is a bit down on her luck at the moment. She is then summoned by her wealthy best friend Madison to her mansion, where Madison offers her a position: to work as a governess for her husband’s one-year-old twin children, Roland and Bessie.
Up until now, they were homeschooled and living with their mentally unstable mother until she recently passed away. But there’s a catch. Apparently, the twins spontaneously combust whenever they are agitated, setting fire to pretty much everything around them; though the fire doesn’t harm them at all. Lillian also has to keep the kids’ “ability” a secret as their father, Senator Robert, vies for Secretary of State.
It’s also worth mentioning that the children, who are suffering from trauma brought on by their mother, are wild, with violent tendencies leading to biting and attacking people and then…the flames come.
So Lillian agrees to be their nanny, and we follow her and the fire children over the course of the summer as she slowly establishes trust between the nearly feral kids and herself. She begins to realize that she needs these extraordinary kids as much as they need her. She begins to fight for the kids’ best interests as feelings of protectiveness arise within her, and the kids provide her with a new sense of purpose.
And as the story moves towards its explosive conclusion, Lillian has to make an enormous decision that could affect her and the kids’ lives forever.
So I really, really loved this quirky little book about exploding children and, ultimately, acceptance. It was wickedly funny, charming, and endearing — an all-around feel-good yet odd story with a super weird storyline, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.