|The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: I had a free day: I was going to achieve wonderful things around the house. Instead I spent it listening to The Nanny, and when I couldn't listen, I read. It's a cracking good read which had me hooked from beginning to end.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400/11h7m||Date: May 2019|
|External links: Author's website|
We know that something wrong is happening: a body is being dumped in deep water. The rower pulls away and rows back to the boat house and then she walks back to Lake Hall. As you begin reading you suspect that you know who has been killed and who dumped the body, but be patient: all will be revealed before too long.
Back in 1987 Jocelyn loved her nanny more than she loved her own mother, so it was a great shock when she woke one morning and discovered that her nanny had left during the night. Apparently this had happened because Jocelyn was such a bad child - or so her mother told her. The Jocelyn problem would be solved by sending her away to boarding school: the devastated young girl grew into a distant woman. She left Lake Hall, married and went to live in California with her husband, Chris and hadn't seen her parents for a decade or more. She and Chris were happy and they had a daughter, Ruby, but fate had something else in mind. Chris was killed by a drunken driver and thirty years after her nanny left, Jo (as Jocelyn now calls herself) was forced to bring Ruby back to Lake Hall. They had nowhere else to live.
It's only as you try to describe the story that you realise quite how good, how clever, the plotting really is. Jo's mother, Lady Holt, had been widowed a couple of months before Chris's death and she has secrets of her own, which she cannot share with Jo. Then Jo and Ruby discover a skull in the lake and the police discover some more body parts. Lady Holt is sure that it's a very old body - there's been a house here for a thousand years - but the police are not convinced. And Jo begins to realise that her childhood memories might not be correct.
Oh, that was so difficult to write without giving away any spoilers! You really should have the pleasure of discovering what happens as the Holt family do. I had a free day yesterday and I was going to achieve wonderful things around the house. Instead I spent it listening to The Nanny, and when I couldn't listen, I read. It's a cracking good read which had me hooked from beginning to end. I finished in the day because I couldn't have put it down until I knew what happened.
Characterisation is excellent. I fell for Jo and Ruby straight away. They're both grieving, but in their own way. I expected that Lady Holt would find Ruby a rather strange child, with her American straightforwardness and a name which the grandmother didn't really like, but she comes around quickly and grandmother and child bond. It's not quite without its problems as Virginia Holt had little experience of childcare and even less awareness of danger. With a job in London which might be a stepping stone to something more permanent, Jo needs some more reliable childcare. Her choice might put the family in more danger.
I bought the audio download myself and I was glad that I did. The book was narrated by Clare Corbett, Patience Tomlinson and Ben Eliot. I'm always wary when an audiobook has multiple narrators as the result can be a little confusing, but this was well handled and the narration was a pleasure to listen to. I'd be happy to hear more from all three narrators.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending the book to The Bookbag. It was a cracking read and I loved every minute of it.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Tell Me Your Secret by Dorothy Koomson.
You could get a free audio download of The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.