The Nanny
Melissa Nathan
book reviews:
· general fiction
· chick lit/romance
· sci-fi/fantasy
· graphic novels
· nonfiction
· audio books

Click here for the RSS Feed

· author interviews
· children's books @
· DVD reviews @

win books
buy online


for authors
& publishers

for reviewers

click here to learn more

Buy *The Nanny* online

The Nanny

Melissa Nathan
352 pages
September 2003
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

previous reviewnext review

One of the things that bothered me about the popular (and, in many ways, quite good) book The Nanny Diaries is what unsympathetic cartoons the children's parents were. I'm sure there are many people like this in the world, but surely not all nannies work for such creeps. Many, I'm sure, would flee at the sight of them, rather than being almost totally at the mercy of their cruelly wielded power, like that book's heroine.

At first glance, the family in Melissa Nathan's charming The Nanny seems like a similar collection of gargoyles, but it's to the book's credit that all the characters turn out to be far more complex and sympathetic as the plot unfolds.

The story revolves around Jo Green, a bright but unfulfilled twenty-three-year-old nanny living in provincial England. She takes a job with an eccentric family in London. How eccentric? Mom and Dad always seem moments away from coming to blows; they have three kids, plus two more from the father's first marriage. The fact that one of those two boys is Jo's age, handsome and charming creates even more problems, especially considering Jo's tentative relationship with her boyfriend back home.

It's the usual chick-lit stuff, but Nathan cleverly gives all the characters enough shading and quirks to keep things interesting. Jo is a vastly likable heroine as she copes with being a good nanny and trying to make the right choices in her own life. Perhaps the book's best character is Pippa, a perceptive, good-hearted fellow nanny who is a combination buddy, therapist and cheerleader for Jo. Even Dick and Vanessa, the parents of Jo's charges, who at first appear to be jerks, turn out to be admirable people and caring, sympathetic employers. The Nanny is superficial froth, to be sure. But it's funny, sweet and full of surprises.

© 2003 by Amanda Cuda for Curled Up With a Good Book

Other books by Melissa Nathan:

buy *The Nanny* online
click here for more info
Click here to learn more about this month's sponsor!

fiction · sf/f · comic books · nonfiction · audio
newsletter · free book contest · buy books online
review index · links · · authors & publishers

site by ELBO Computing Resources, Inc.