Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Nanny by... Melissa Nathan!!!

Fair warning...there's a whole intro to the review here, so if you just want the review... here it is.

Hello all... reporting from Bubby (or my grandmother, depending on who you are :))'s kitchen, via internet access from the lovely people next door (thank you to them, and if anyone is reading this for whom Bubby is not the appropriate term, don't worry it's with their full knowledge and cooperation :)). Anyway, in Monsey for Shabbos managed to finish one book - and not even on Shabbos, just on Motzei Shabbos... but it was a good 'un!

what book, you ask? well read the title, duh :) but WHY this book? a very good question, or not actually, because more often than not the answer would be because the blurb on the back looked good... but in this case, I have a very good answer :) Melissa Nathan is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Jasmin Field which is one of many modern day versions of P&P, but I think quite a well known one. Anyway, excellent book, as is Persuading Annie, her modern version of Persuasion. Her other book I've read is The Waitress, a fine example of contemporary chic lit... so I thought up until this minute that the last book of hers I haven't yet read was The Nanny (she actually died a few years ago, so no more books from her :() but just now I looked up on Wikipedia and SHE WROTE ANOTHER ONE! which i MUST READ! and shall, never fear :) anyway... I always wanted to read The Nanny but when I last looked for it I was only a member of two libraries besides lackawanna county and my regular library didn't have it and the pratt library's copy was apparently lost... however, last Friday I went to pratt for the Harvey girls (see here) and I decided to look for it and THERE IT WAS - actually I needed to ask the librarian to go down to stacks for me, but whatever there it was in stacks) so I was terribly excited because after all, I'm talking about a writer KNOWN to write good solid chic lit with plenty from the guy's POV and a fantastic happily ever after!

so what happened? here's where the actual review starts by the way, if you've been going blah-blah-blah what do I care this whole time :) I started the book with a great sense of anticipation naturally but as I read I felt mostly confused... the main character had this horrible life (which wasn't confusing at all, but I mostly get impatient w/ huge complainers and I have no patience for provincials :) which is, I'm sorry, what she was) and the people she worked for (she is a nanny, remember) well I couldn't figure out if you were supposed to like them or not... sometimes they behaved absolutely horrible (the woman contemplating cheating, the man behaving really meanly to her, in addition to the fact that he cheated on his first wife) but it did seem like they were supposed to be symphathetic sometimes... and besides, if they would get divorced, that wouldn't be a very happy ending, so I just wasn't sure where anything was headed. The other thing I noticed was that the author really fancies herself above the general run of chic lit, as she used interesting similes all over the place... but the truth is, it was mostly pretty comical, and I think that was the intention. So my first impression was basically kind of why do I like this author so much?

and then as I kept reading, I was getting even more nervous... I mean I like chic lit to be basically about the relationship between the main character and whoever the guy is. I do not read it for a plot filled with tension and tons of other stuff going on - and this one had two disfunctional parents, kids with a few issues, money problems, infidelity... I mean not what I signed up for! but with all that, it was still a fun read, so I kept on going and...

!!~Reward~!! as I kept reading, the problems mostly resolved themselves without any overly tense blow ups - the only blow up was the requisite one between Josh and Jo (those are the main characters btw) and as I understood the characters more, the book really took shape (or maybe the author just got her act together, idk). in any case, by I'd say a little over half way, it was good solid chic lit - and I do mean good! Plenty (well not plenty but almost enough) from Josh's POV about how he likes Jo, a little angst, some bickering, and everything resolved just purrfect in the end. so good that I was thinking about continuations of the story after I finished (before I fell asleep, don't worry not *that* obsessed) and I only do that with books I really like.

I mean I'm not saying I'm going to go out and buy a copy or anything like that, just that I guess it's been a while since I've read such good chic lit - why does no one write anything like that anymore? :) and it does continue to be my favorite genre - my unapologetic favorite genre :)

So I'm not telling *anyone* out there who does not like chic lit to read this book - it is chic lit and there is really nothing else in there - but if you're a fan of books about twenty-something girls in london who meet gorgeous guys and live happily ever after - find this book - anywhere - and read it! (or your time returned to you, guaranteed **)

oh so verdict... 5/5

**not really, I'm not a magician or G-d


  1. it was cute but i would not give it a 5/5 - main reason being the 300+ pages. good chick lit (unless its good sophie kinsella) should be kept under 200. The story just ended being dragged out with all diff unimportant subplots.

  2. I really felt the opposite of you - it took a while to get into, but actually the sub plots never really took over the book (except her mother's stroke - that was totally unnecessary) - but like I said, I thought everything actually kept pretty light - and I was more disappointed than not when the book finished - Learning Curves is much longer, so we'll see how I feel about that one - but you are just not a true chic lit lover, what can I say? :)