The Nanny by Melissa Nathan

The Nanny
Melissa Nathan

Like Linnea Sinclair, I think I'm just going to HAVE to read everything this author has ever written. After I read Pride, Prejudice and Jasmine Field, I went online and got a copy of Persuading Annie, the second one of her modern retellings of Jane Austen. Persuading Annie is a retelling of Persuasion. Meanwhile I also hopped to the library and borrowed The Nanny. Unfortunately, this is the only Melissa Nathan novel my library has, so I have to get her other two books The Waitress and The Learning Curve elsewhere.

This is I think Nathan's third novel and is her own story, not based on an Austen novel. I liked it probably a smidge less than Pride, Prejudice and Jasmine Field, but more than Persuading Annie.

The Nanny is about a twenty three year old nanny, Jo Green, who feels stuck in a rut with her life in Niblet-upon-Avon. Her boyfriend Shaun has proposed a few times, and each time she has turned him down, while her parents think he has never asked and keep wondering aloud what could be wrong and what he's waiting for. When Jo sees an ad for a nanny in London, she decides to apply for the job and just have a change of pace. She gets hired by Dick and Vanessa Fitzgerald, who have three children – eight year old Cassandra, six year old Zak and the youngest, Tallulah and gets sucked into their busy family life. To complicate matters Dick's sons from his first marriage arrive – his teen-aged son Toby and his grownup son Josh. Josh even moves in and sleeps in Jo's living room, and tensions mount.

Overall: This book started off a bit slowly as we got introduced to all the people in Jo's life, but everyone had their own personality and story within the book which made it enjoyable. We not only see Jo's struggle with her relationships but we also see complications in the marriage of Dick and Vanessa, Jo's parents and even the relationships among the kids. This ended up being a feel good story so things ended well for everyone involved, maybe in a too pat way, but it was just the type of book to cheer you up after a bad week. It did not feel short and fluffy, it felt like it had more depth than that, and it was a satisfying read. There are some comments here about being a working mother in need of a nanny, and family dynamics – the woman's role versus the man's, which made it a well thought out book for me. I also enjoyed the humor throughout the book – although sometimes the sarcasm was surprising, it was refreshing to read a book about the trials of parenting that come along with the joys, and to see a parent who loved their kids but may not be cut out for staying at home with them. The romance in this book was sweet as well.

P.S. This was written in third person (FYI for those who hate reading in first person)!

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