The Nanny

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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!!
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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It's difficult to review this book without giving away too much. Jocelyn, a young woman from an upper class background has a terrible relationship with her mother Virginia. Brought up by her nanny who disappeared when she was 7, she is resentful of Virginia who she thinks is cold and unloving. So it is with reluctance that she returns to the family home when her husband dies. Ruby her daughter strikes up a good relationship with her grandmother, something that Jo finds hard. A skull is found in the lake on the estate but whose is it? Could it be that of her nanny or is it someone else. Then the nanny reappears...

I'll say no more about the plot or characters except that the characters were all flawed and there is no-one really to relate to, except perhaps ten year old Ruby. The plot has the usual twists and turns that you'd expect in this genre but ended a little abruptly. 

Did I enjoy it? I don't know to tell the truth. It was a compelling read and I read it with a sense of fear and dread. Would I recommend it? Yes, on the whole I would. If you like psychological thrillers, then I think you'll like this one.
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I enjoyed reading The Nanny, it was slow in places and a tad predictable  but I liked the way it held the mystery back till the last few chapters.  I really liked the dual storyline of the past and the present slowly telling each side of the story. Of all the characters I only really liked Virginia and Ruby, Jo I found far to desperate and Hannah of course deserved my distain.  The book length could have been reduced without a the unnecessary storyline of the forgeries.
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Widow Jocelyn and her daughter, Ruby. Now there's an interesting relationship. This book is full of them. Much more meaty and twisty than I though this book was going to be. Turns the whole missing child book right on its head as this time, the nanny goes missing.

it's quite complex in parts and there are multiple narratives and timelines which got a bit confusing for me before it al worked out nicely in the end ( from a narrative structure point of view) I 'm not giving any spoilers away about the plot. Missing nanny, body discovered but is it the person they think it is? All gets very shady.
Plenty of red herrings in this book so armchair detectives will have a lot of fun with this!

Families are complicated and funny creatures aren't they? Memories shut away can create interesting and frightening images in the future. Not a booktrail read as all the locations are either vague or fictional but it's a a creepy landscape which the author creates here.
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Dare you get engrossed in this book?  As we read here so we see that Jocelyn, who has recently become widowed, returns to the ancestral home with her ten-year-old daughter, Ruby.  Relationships have always been strained between Jocelyn, and her mother but when a skull is found on the lake on the property, so things look like they will become more so.

Told in a multiple narrative format, and with flashbacks to the past so we are initially made to wonder whose corpse was dumped in the lake, what exactly happened, and will the perpetrator be discovered by the police?  This is further confused for us as we are firstly led to believe the body is someone, who then may or may not have reappeared, which helps to raise the suspense another notch.

Cleverly told so we are drawn into a family who have enough skeletons in the closet already, with their own schemes and machinations, but now it looks like someone has plans for those concerned, ones that could run out of control.  Taking in memories and how they can be blocked and distorted, the secrets that we keep and hide from others, as well as family secrets that have not been revealed so this is quite meaty but given to us in a way that is easy to get to grips to.

Showing how people are bullied, manipulated and isolated so this is a book that should do really well, and will more than keep your attention throughout.  Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC.
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