The Nanny

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

Jocelyn Holt has never been close to her mother, and her fondest memories of her childhood also include her old nanny Hannah, who vanished overnight when she was small. When Jocelyn is forced home to live with her aging mother and a skeleton is unearthed in the family lake, Jo begins to question whether somehow her mother was involved in Hannah's disappearance all those years ago.

The Nanny is a mystery thriller that has so many twists and turns and what ifs, it left me reeling at points but desperately eager to continue on to the next chapter and the next and the next. I flipped opinions about characters from the start to the finish, and I really liked how Gilly Mamillan was able to present them as one kind of person and transform them into another within a few chapters. 

I started the book firmly on Jocelyn's side, and really disliking the grandmother in the story Virginia Holt. But by halfway through, I really felt for Virginia, and couldn't stand Jocelyn who honestly was one of the most pathetic, frustrating and selfish characters I've read in a long time. I physically threw up my hands at the book at one point because Jocelyn was being so dumb. 

I felt sad and uncomfortable at times at how easy Virginia could be overlooked and talked over by other characters, and I think it highlighted well how old age/disability erasure can happen to those who are elderly and/or infirm in any way.

The end was quite rushed for me but I liked the intensity of some moments. I feel like I would have preferred more conversations between Jo and Virginia and a few more grievances properly aired and past actions explained. I also feel like there were some loose ends just not tied up properly and left to flap in the wind a bit.
Was this review helpful?
Psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns.Strong characters who did not endear themselves to me and a truly nasty villain. Also the police were pretty hopeless.
Was this review helpful?
I can appreciate that other readers thoroughly enjoyed this novel but "parallel" stories are not my cup of tea and I tend to skim through one of the story lines. I have enjoyed Gilly Macmillan's other books and look forward to reading more form this author.

I also found it difficult to believe that a supposedly dedicated mother would dismiss concerns of abuse from her own child.....
Was this review helpful?
Jocelyn is not your typical spoilt rich kid.  Brought up in a mansion that has been in her family for generations, only child of Lord and Lady Holt, she loves her dad, adores her nanny, but cannot stand her mother  She sees her as aloof, critical and unloving and took the first opportunity to leave her family home and escape to America.  There Jo builds a life for herself with her husband and their daughter, Ruby.  She is forced to return home when her husband is tragically killed in a car accident.

If only Jo had someone to help her with childcare; someone like her own dear nanny, Hannah, but Hannah disappeared mysteriously one night when Ruby was 7, taking all her belongings and not even saying goodbye.  Then a human skill is found in the lake on the grounds and soon a woman claiming to be Hannah turns up at the house.  Relishing the timing, Jo begs Hannah to help with Ruby, despite Lady Holt's clear disagreement.  Nothing has changed for Jo - her mother is still cold and putting barriers in her way, whereas Hannah is the warm and supportive nanny she remembers from her childhood - but all is not as it seems.

This is a slow burning chiller: the kind of book that makes you want to yell warnings through the pages to the characters.   Told through time and from the point of view of various characters, the truth slowly reveals itself amid twists and turns aplenty.
Was this review helpful?
Having to return to a home and country she thought she had left behind forever was never in Jocelyn Holt's plans but very few things have turned out the way she wanted since her beloved nanny disappeared thirty years earlier when she was seven.

Now a mother herself and preferring to be known as Jo she finds herself having to deal with her own grief as well as that of her daughter while her own mother remains as aloof and distant as she remembers from her discarded childhood. When she is offered a lifeline Jo is amazed to find that her memories don't quite fit those of others from her past and as the police have become involved she has no idea who she can trust or turn to.

This is a book which makes time slow down. I thought I'd read for just an hour, three hours later I finally stopped for the night.  I felt instantly involved with the main characters and plotline, and wasn't at all disappointed in the ending which was as shocking as it was satisfying. 

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys family dramas without a huge confusing cast where the police play second fiddle to the main protagonists who are beautifully executed but seriously flawed.
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this from Gilly Macmillan, a tense and well paced psychological thriller with some interesting characters and unexpected moments. 

I liked the "rich are different" feel to the narrative and the mystery of what happened to "The Nanny" is beautifully plotted. I love the descriptive nature of the storytelling and read it over two quick addictive sessions. 

Full review nearer June publication. 

Recommended.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this well enough; it was nicely paced, and I found the main characters believable.  The only thing which I disliked about it was that I guessed every single one of the twists; this was a little disappointing to me.
Was this review helpful?
This was a good page turner that kept me gripped throughout. A few times I thought I'd figured it all out and was proven wrong. Will define looking out for more books by this author.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

This book follows Jocelyn and her 10-year-old daughter Ruby as they return to the UK after the tragic death of her American Husband. Jo has to move in with her Mother Virginia as she has no money as its tied up in the US. The book is told from the perspective of Jocelyn, Virginia, Linda (who we discover is the Nanny Hannah who had changed her name in the 80's) and a police detective. 
When Joycelyn was a child, her nanny Hannah disappeared one night without reason and Jo has never understood why as she felt she loved Hannah more than her own mother. When a skull is discovered in the lake at the house we wonder if this could be Hannah the missing Nanny.

I did enjoy this book on the whole but at points, it was a little slow and I personally didn't feel the police monologue added anything to the overall story. I would certainly read more by this author.
Was this review helpful?
Jocelyn's Nanny vanished overnight when she was 7, and as an adult, she can't help wondering if her emotionally distant parents were to blame in some way.  Living with her mother and her daughter, she struggles with her relationship with her mother, and then her nanny reappears.  

Although a fairly pacy read, the twists were over-elaborate and the ending felt unsatisfactory.
Was this review helpful?
Jocelyn adores her nanny, Hannah. She gives her the love and affection she craves while her parents, Lord and Lady Holt enjoy their glamorous parties and busy lives while ignoring their only child. Hannah, however suddenly disappears one night without even saying goodbye to the distraught Jocelyn. A mystery never solved or spoken of again. Fast forward 30 years and Jocelyn, now known as Jo returns to her family home from California with her young daughter in tow after the tragic death of her husband. Her father has now also died and Jo has to try and build bridges with her mother but their relationship is as strained as it always was. One day her daughter discovers a skull by the lake belonging to the house. Could it be Hannah? Without spoilers, the answers would appear to be obvious and just a short way into the book I wondered where the story would go. However, this dark, disturbing book had me riveted as it switched from the different eras and told from various perspectives. I raced through it as the long buried secrets were revealed. Clever, twisty and creepy, it was a brilliantly told story with an ending that left me wondering just who was the most evil.
Was this review helpful?
Jocelyn was seven when her much loved Nanny disappeared overnight. Her relationship with her mother was  never good and didn’t recover, Joeyln blamed her mother and she left her substantial home as soon as she could.
Years later she returns with her young daughter to the family home, she has been living in America but her husband has tragically died and Jocelyn finds herself financially embarrassed and in need of help.
Things are still fraught between Jo and her mother but one day, amazingly, the nanny reappears. Jocelyn sees her as a saviour and welcomes her back into their home. Her mother does not feel the same and a battle between them follows. Who is right?
Human remains are found in a lake belonging to the property and the story enters a different dimension.
An interesting book which looks at a mother and daughter relationship and how a young child looks at the actions of her adult careers. I really enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?
Virginia thought she had killed the nanny and disposed of her body in the lake.  Hence she was not overly surprised when a skull is discovered in said lake.  She is a little more surprised when the nanny turns up at the door...

An easy thriller which improved as it went on.  It is a slow start but one the tale works through the scene setting the tension builds and surprises abound.
Was this review helpful?
The Nanny is one hell of a thrilling story! I must admit when I read the synopsis I knew I would love the plot but I didn't expect the writing to be so good! Storyline moves along nicely without rushing and I was pleasantly surprised when I got to key points to realise how much book was left. I haven't read anything that's enchanted me like The Nanny did in a very long time. I wish all books were this good!!
5/5
Was this review helpful?
I have read and enjoyed Gilly Macmillan’s other novels so was delighted to have the chance to read this one. It’s quite different in setting and style, somehow. but just as readable! In fact I have spent the last few hours finishing it and ignoring everything else I should have been doing. 

The novel centres around a fractured mother and daughter relationship and events that happened years ago at Lake Hall. A skull is found in the lake and this leads to the uncovering of secrets. I enjoyed the characters, particularly the three generations of the Holt family  - unhappy, recently widowed Jocelyn and her spirited daughter Ruby who gets on so well with her grandmother, the mother Jocelyn never liked as much as her nanny.  It’s a very interesting study of mothers and daughters. I changed my opinions about the characters as the novel progressed. The shifts are cleverly handled and I became absorbed in the story, keen to find out what really happened one eventful night in 1987. It’s quite tricky writing this review as I don’t want to give anything away! Plenty of tension and atmosphere make this a novel worth reading.
Was this review helpful?
An enjoyable read!

I have worked as a Nanny myself during an exchange year when I studied in London, so I was very interested in reading this story.
I enjoyed the characters and overall flow, I look forward to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
A spell binding read, Jocelyn had a nanny when she was young but she disappeared overnight. When Jocelyn returns to England after her husbands death, Nanny reappears and things start happening. Good characters and a strong story line makes this a compelling read
Was this review helpful?
I was drawn to this book due to the title, I am a nanny myself. Thankfully there are no similarities whatsoever between the nanny in this book and me.

The story has a lot of twists and turns, it definitely grabbed my attention from the outset. However, I did find it a little slow at times. The clues to part of what is going on are there if you know what to look for, and even though I did realise what was going on before the author revealed it, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

The relationship between Jocelyn and her mother Virginia is a difficult one to say the least, but it is one of the most important ones in the story. It changes as we progress through the chapters and I loved seeing the two women grow in strength as they reached the final chapters. 

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy.
Was this review helpful?
Following the sudden death of her husband, Jocelyn returns to her family home, Lake Hall, in England with her ten-year old daughter Ruby. 
When she was a child, Jo’s nanny, Hannah disappeared without reason one night. This is something that Jo has never got over as she was so much closer to Hannah than she ever was with her Mother, Virginia. 

Jo and Virginia’s relationship has never recovered and yet Virginia and Ruby gel so quickly. 

Before long, Jo and Ruby make a shocking discovery in the lake.   Once Jo contacts the police, things escalate.    Could this body be the nanny, Hannah?  Jo thinks that it would certainly explain why Hannah disappeared so suddenly all those years ago. 

The story is mainly told by Jo, Virginia and someone called Linda from the 70’s/80’s and why she comes into the story is soon explained.   There is also a detective who pops up from time to time, but I really don’t think that he really added anything.  
It’s a very slow story and I almost gave up a few times but once I got to 40%, I knew that I was going to see it through and I’m glad that I did.    Towards the end though, it did seem a little rushed and after the slowness and the deliberate way that the story was laid out, I didn’t think that it really matched the rest of the book. 

On the whole though, I very much enjoyed reading it and will be happy to read more by this author.
Was this review helpful?
I wrote a lovely long review of The Nanny, then accidentally deleted it before it could be posted. Oh no! Anyway, here goes again.... having loved Gilly Macmillan’s previous books I was excited to read this one and delighted to be approved for an ARC. 

Reeling from the sudden death of her husband, Jocelyn (Jo) returns to her family home, Lake Hall, with her ten year old daughter Ruby. Jo’s childhood was blighted both by the overnight disappearance, never to be seen again, of her beloved nanny Hannah, and by a relationship with her haughtily aristocratic mother, Virginia, which is distant at best. Although Virginia is now also a widow, their long-damaged relationship remains frosty in the extreme, although Virginia bonds to a surprisingly immediate extent with Ruby.

When a shocking discovery is made in the lake, things escalate quickly. Can it really be connected to the long ago disappearance of Hannah? And how reliable are Jo’s childhood memories, anyway?

The story is narrated mainly by Jo with sections from the points of view of Virginia, a police detective named Andy and a young woman called Linda in the 1970s and 80s. This generally worked well although I’m not entirely sure how much was added by Andy’s brief sections, other than to provide an outside perspective and illustrate how the Holt family are regarded by many.

Towards the end things perhaps rushed a little too quickly towards a dramatic conclusion, for which there would surely be consequences further down the line. However it was a gripping read with an original premise, touching on themes of familial relationships, manipulation, and where and why our love and trust are (mis)placed. I very much enjoyed all the characters, particularly Virginia and Ruby, and found Jo’s struggles and dilemmas very relatable.

The author lived in the US for some years and very occasional Americanisms do creep in - Lord Holt is described as wearing a “vest” over his checked shirt, which I’m pretty sure is the American usage rather than the British! And I’m not sure the British police use Jane Doe as a placeholder to the same extent as the Americans - although I could be wrong.

All in all an excellent read which I really enjoyed.
Was this review helpful?