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Nanny Dearest

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Member Reviews

This book was a huge surprise. Generally one expects a nanny book to be about an affair between a nanny and the father, but Collins doesn't go for such easy tropes. Still, the subtext of "do you really know this stranger living in your house" takes center stage. Great book.
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I flew through this one, which I found to be atmospheric and creepy in the best way.  Although the main character really isn't the most likeable person and the book contains some tropes I hate, I did enjoy this one simply for the tension-building and alternating POV, which kept it interesting for me.
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I found myself really wrapped up in the story and I was really enjoying it until the very end. I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn’t remembering incorrectly. I personally just didn’t care for how it ended but I know others might like it a lot!
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DNF - Did not finish. I did not connect with the writing style or plot and will not be finishing this title. Thank you, NetGalley and Publisher for the early copy!
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Unlikable characters who didn't make me feel the suspense of the plot line, slow moving scenes that did not keep me gripped to my kindle. And to top it off, it was completely predictable. Needed more thrill to be added. An okay read
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3.5/5 Stars

Sue Kellar is mourning the recent death of her father after losing her mother years prior to cancer. One day, she runs into her childhood Nanny, Annaliese. As they spend more time with one another, Annaliese fills the parental figure role that Sue has been lacking. Sue's friends become worried when they begin to uncover the truth about who Annaliese really is, and the things she is hiding.

I enjoyed this story for the most part, but it had quite a slow pace. I liked how there was an alternating timeline between Annie's POV in 1996 and Sue's POV in the present. I think this did a great job of letting us understand both characters. It was interesting to be inside Annie's mind while she was nannying for Sue, and the extreme attachment she had. I found her character to be the most interesting of the two, and I could never tell whether or not we should trust her. She always seemed to have an explanation for everything. The biggest complaint I have is the ending... it was so unsatisfying. Also, there was a scene with animal abuse I could have definitely used without.
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Nannies were the thriller storyline for a lot of books in 2021. I've read a few good ones, a few okay ones and this was just okay. Maybe I had read too many nanny books by the time I got to this one but I just didn't click with anything in the book.
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NANNY DEAREST by Flora Collins. 

I had a very specific thing in mind when I added this book to my Tbr. I had just read NIGHTBITCH and I wanted to explore a little more on the topic of motherhood. 

I have always been fascinated by the triangular relationship dynamics between parents and nannies and the children they care for. 

This book explores the relationship between the child and the nanny more than with parental figures. I appreciated the storyline and loved the moments the characters experienced that bordered on obsession. 

I could’ve handled a lot more of it. 

Overall, this is a solid domestic thriller that will appeal to readers looking for a captivating read exploring interpersonal relationships. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing-Mira for this advanced copy!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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This one did not really do it for me. I really liked the storyline but the characters were not likeable (or hateable!) enough for me. I am sure that a lot of other people will love it, I probably just read it wrong.
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3.5/5

Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins is a really hard novel for me to nail down my feelings for. On one hand, I was basically unable to put it down and was thoroughly engrossed in what was happening, but on the other hand, it ended up falling a little flat for me. That being said, I still think it is a strong debut, and I love that Collins drew on personal experience and her family history to create this book. It really makes me wonder what parts of it are from her life, and made it seem that much more mysterious. I noticed that the book is being marketed as domestic suspense and I would definitely say that is accurate. While it has an air of mystery, I wouldn't call it a mystery and I wouldn't call it a thriller either. There are plenty of tense moments though, and I enjoyed seeing how the story unfolded. The end is what kind of threw me off, and it is what left me feeling a little meh about it.

I honestly think Nanny Dearest is a great book to go into as blind as possible, and I was glad I didn't read the synopsis again prior to reading it. The majority is a pretty slow burn, but once you get towards the end things picked up. There is a trigger for animal abuse, but it wasn't as descriptive as a lot of other books I've read and would be easy to skip over. It is only a small instance of the book, and this is a huge trigger for me, but I was able to handle it due to the way Collins wrote it. I do think that the audiobook is the way to go here as it is narrated by Brittany Pressley & Reba Buhr, and Pressley is one of my favorite narrators. Both she and Buhr did a really great job drawing me into the story, and I think it worked even better for me because of the two of them. I would recommend Nanny Dearest to readers of domestic drama who don't mind books that defy believability, and I would gladly read whatever Collins writes next.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Favorite Quotes:

It is a microcosm of motherhood here, women huddled in clusters around the edge of the playground, shaking out Goldfish, handing over juice boxes, wiping away dirt from little hands… Men are so absent, you would forget they existed at all.

But there’s something wrong with me, Suzy. Something very, very wrong.

My Review:

This was a disturbingly realistic and disquieting piece packed with warped and fractured characters who were all rather lacking in the areas of mental health and likable personalities.  The writing was insightful and perceptive with a constant thrum of apprehension and risk of discovery, but the discovery of exactly what was always in question.  I was deeply curious and invested in their tale and had developed multiple theories as I read, and all of them were wrong.  How I love it when that happens!

The tale unraveled slowly while ratcheting up the tension, which was present and tautly held from the first page to the last word.  I was impatient at times when the storylines appeared to falter or veer in other directions although I later realized the author was weaving in additional threads as the characters became increasingly unhinged.  But that ending has left me tapping my little foot while I contemplate my feelings, I’m quite unsettled and bordering on distressed.  I have a feeling I will be ruminating on this one for some time.
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For most people, running into their childhood nanny or babysitter would be a happy occasion. In Nanny Dearest, Sue doesn’t remember the woman claiming to be her nanny at all, but Annie knows many details of Sue’s childhood. They become close again just like when Sue was little. But almost too close?

The story is told in two time periods and two POVs. Annie’s in the 90s and Sue’s in present day. Both are unreliable narrators, both struggling with some mental health issues like depression. As Sue gets to know Annie more, things come out about her childhood that were deeply buried and she begins to remember some not so rosy memories. Annie is currently taking care of her niece and nephew and Sue grows concerned for them just like when she was a child. 

I like the plot of this book, but it was a little confusing with the jumping back and forth. It also almost seemed like Sue and Annie were going to get romantic which would be so creepy, but the author veers off at the last minute. I do think she handled grief very well as that is a large part of the story. Sue’s mother passes when she was very young and Annie helps take care of her during the time. 
 
Overall, I think this was a very good debut novel and I’m looking forward to more! Thank you so much @_mira_books_  @htpbooks and @floracollins_author for the gifted ebook. Nanny Dearest is on sale now!
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This book….oh boy this book. This was probably a case of “it’s not you, it’s me” (I had a couple of those this year unfortunately).

So let me just say this: this book was intriguing, creepy, well-written, and definitely had me turning the pages. It wasn’t a bad book by any means - there is definitely an audience for this type of book.

The reason I gave it 3 stars is because I am just not the right audience for this book right now. I personally found it to be pretty disturbing and unnecessarily graphic in places. I actually almost DNF’ed this one pretty early on. I’m glad I didn’t - the overall story was good. I’m just not sure I’m the right reader for this author’s style.

If you are looking for a dark, strange read that will put you right into the minds of two very disturbed and mentally unstable individuals, this is definitely the book for you. Yowzers.
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In Flora Collins’s Nanny Dearest, this adult domestic suspense is riveting, dark and twisted with every turned page.  Susanna Keller’s life have been turned upside-down when her father died a year ago. At a chance encounter, she’s reunited with Annaliese “Annie” Whittaker, her former nanny she had when she was three years old. This reunion had brought back memories of her past and her turbulent childhood when she lost her mother from cancer. From Annie’s POV told in the 1990s from flashback, it all started from a simple job for her to take care of Suzy and the household, Suzy’s father was too busy with work and her mother didn’t pay close attention to her only daughter. She clapped her eyes on Suzy and prepared to insinuate into the family further. When Suzy mentions this to her friend Beth, she becomes leery and suspicious of her. The more she felt better about her life from quitting her job to alienating herself from her friends, she’s been sucked into Annie’s warped life like a cult survivor, believe everything she said was the truth about her childhood and her parents. Then she becomes suspicious of her and her actions, playing everyone like a fool, until she discovered the truth and prepared to confront her dead on. Though she denied it, Annie wanted Suzy for herself, driving a wedge into her life, wanting to make her for her own. With every little discovery she uncovered, she distanced herself from Annie and broken free from her hold until they had a final confrontation at her former home, which would blow you away.

This was a dark domestic suspense that’s captivating and gives you chills all over. I cared for Suzy on how she lost both her parents and had her friends to lean on, until Annie resurfaced into her life like a deadweight dummy.  Besides dealing with her grief, she was a sucker and a true believer on Annie’s lies about the past and how she destroyed her family. I loved how she stood up to her in the end. Annie, I had l liked in the beginning, but then I became suspicious of her and her motives, especially with her own niece and nephew. I loved the New York City area for the central location which had fantastic scenic settings, past and present.  The theme of the story is that don’t lie on who you are, or it would sneak up on you. 

I loved how it dealt with grief and possibly mental health, which does hit close to home. It also showed the perception of how people view you and how you view others in the same light.  It gave me goosebumps and chills all over. My only nitpick was that we didn’t know Suzy’s parents first names until it was mentioned later in the story, when it should’ve been introduced in the first flashback. And African-American and Black are technically the same thing, when African-American should be the correct form to describe brown-skinned people. I rate this book, four out of five stars, because there were some thing I didn’t like what Annie did in Suzy’s life. This is recommended to everyone who loves to read domestic suspense and thriller novels.
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Told in two different timelines, 1996 and the present, this psychological thriller was a bit slow-moving, but did get better. Annaliese is a young broken teenager who takes care of young Suzy Keller - this is the 1996 timeline. Fast forward to the present. Sue Keller is now a twenty-something young woman who is lost and broken. She's recently lost her father, and her mother has been gone for a long time. Suddenly, Sue meets Annie. Annie, aka Annaliese, is so loving and has so many stories that she can share with Sue about her younger years with Sue's family. Sue is craving the love and attention that her former nanny is so willingly offering. So she enters into a friendship with many suspenseful twists and turns leaving you to wonder who Annie really is.
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In her debut novel, Nanny Dearest, author Flora Collins tells the story of a relationship of a babysitter and her old charge. This story dives into the minds of two very different women with a unique connection that transcends time and will have you wondering just what kind of experiences shape a person.

As many of you know, I usually never read thrillers… (What can I say: I’m a scaredy cat who likes romcoms better I’m sorry!) However, when I was put into contact with Flora by a friend about reading her debut novel, I knew I had to check this book out! And I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book! The plot is so engaging and the alternating POVs and times makes this story even more enthralling! These characters are all super complex and trying to figure out the depths of Sue and Annie’s relationship is riveting as a reader!

So take it from a non-thriller reader that this book should definitely be added to your TBR this holiday season! I will definitely be on the look out for more of Collins’s novels in the future.

*I received an ARC from the author and MIRA Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I'm having trouble putting into words what I thought about this book. Because the thing is, it's a really slow burn, so while not a lot is really happening at first, Collins does an amazing job of writing where you feel this creepy tension in the air the ENTIRE TIME. Like you just know something is up, but what is "up"?! I had goosebumps so often while reading even when I was thinking "but nothing has happened yet really...". 

So our main character Sue, is mid-20ish and one day she runs into her old childhood nanny, Annie. Sue's parents have both died and Sue is feeling incredibly lost and misunderstood, so when Annie sweeps in and provides not only friendship but almost a motherly figure for Sue, Sue is determined to keep Annie in her life again. Told in alternating stories between present day (Sue) and the past (Annie), the whole thing is strange, but understandable given the circumstances. But then secrets start to unfold and Sue learns of things from her childhood that she didn't remember and this physiological thriller kept me turning pages right up until the crazy ending!
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Suspenseful story with a great premise. I did however not much care for any of the characters and at times got a little confused with the dual time line, Still an enjoyable read with a writing style I liked. Thank you netgalley and publisher for this arc in exchange of an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley & Halequin Trade Publishing for an eARC of Nanny Dearest! 

I absolutely love the concept of this book, and the dual timelines are enjoyable - mid 90s and present day. That being said, I got confused at times. I was hoping for a surprise to grab me, but overall an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.
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Susanna Keller is all alone -- her mother died when she was a toddler, and her father has just passed away as well. She has no friends minus Beth who annoys her as much as she loves her, having driven them all away, and she looks in the mirror and doesn't recognize herself. Who is that woman? Is that me? Then, Sue randomly runs into Annie, who just happens to have been her nanny when she was a toddler -- while her mother was sick, and she lived in upstate New York. Alone and adrift, Sue clings to Annie -- practically living at Annie's sister's home where Annie takes care of her sister's two children. In Sue's eyes, Annie is a saint with a calm demeanor who is the maternal figure Sue has been yearning for all her life. But is Annie all she seems? Sue's memories seem to be different than Annie's and not everything is as it seems.

Honestly, I wasn't sure if I liked or hated this book. None of the characters are particularly likeable, and almost all of them need psychiatric help. The ending was very unresolved for me, and SPOILER ahead how did Sue's dad find Annie and Sue? It's never stated in the book.
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