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What the Nanny Saw Hardcover – August 2, 2012
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"After an uberwealthy London family gets embroiled in a financial scandal following the 2008 crash, the trusted babysitter is the one holding all the secrets. Neill’s engrossing and funny novel lives up to the titillating title."—Entertainment Weekly
“Readers expecting a salacious, lighthearted romp, as anything with the word 'nanny' in the title might suggest, will find that Neill has something more substantive and biting in mind.”—Booklist
"Neill’s engrossing tale makes for an addictive read, and one can only keep turning the pages to get to the inescapable conclusion."—Library Journal
"Neill concocts a darkly fascinating portrait of the stupid-rich, and the morally superior immigrant maids they press into service. . . . In this fast-paced, dishy morality tale, Neill also delivers a thoughtful dissection of how greed and hubris helped bring the banking industry to its knees in 2008."—Publishers Weekly
"[Neill's] portrayal of the family is happily addictive and their greed-driven downfall a little bit delicious."—Kirkus
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Top Customer Reviews
And the description of the household and its inhabitants tells you all you need to know about everybody and their outlook and circumstances.
Although this book was slow-paced, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I felt like the pacing was somewhat deliberate in that it really steeped you in the world in which this story takes place and it was a long burn up to a big melt-down which was exactly how things seem to go back in 2008. Despite this being a rather serious story, humor and some interesting characters were nicely mixed in to keep it from being didactic.
She is in charge of taking care of their six year old twins and a tutor for their 18 year old son and 14 year old daughter. For a while things seem to be normal, Nick and Byrony work all the time Alli takes care of the kids while making friends with some other nannys from eastern Europe. She also spends alot of time with Byrony's parents Foy and Tita and goes with the Skinners when they go to Foy and Tita's house in Greece.
Things then start to take a turn though. The recession of 2008 is hurting Nick and Byrony's business amd Foy has a stroke during his 70'th birthday party. Then Nick is arrested along with a friend for insider trading.
Alli stays with the family and at first does not believe that Nick did such a thing, then Byrony is arrested as an accomplice and Alli helps to prove that she did not do it.
All in all a very interesting book. The only issue I had with it was that at Foy's party he starts to sing American Pie because it was the song that was playing when he first met Tita. The only problem with that was that he supposedly met her in 1959 and the song did not come out till 1971.
It doesnt end well for all the characters in this book
The story centers on Ali, the twenty-something nanny to Nick and Bryony Skinner, a wealthy London power couple with 4 kids - 2 teens and 5 year-old twins Hector and Alfie. Nick is an investment banking guru, while Bryony is a PR exec with her own firm. The book spans the two years Ali works for them just prior to and during the financial meltdown of 2008. Ali comes from a humble background, and has left university both to make money and to escape her troubled family. The book is really centered on her inner journey as she comes in contact with the uber-wealthy world of her employers, becomes emotionally attached, and strives to find her own sense of identity. The book might have been fine if it had stayed solely focused on this, and kept the financial scandal that befalls the Skinners as background, but in fact, many pages are devoted to conversations between characters about this financial meltdown, and while much of this offers a very interesting 'outsider' take on what happened during this time, it also gives the book a schizophrenic feeling. Is it a novel about Ali or the financial meltdown?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slow to start, intriguing in the middle, but ultimately a disappointing ending that forgets about all the interesting topics that might have made the book a worthwhile read.Published 4 months ago by anne obringer
I usually prefer books with more dialogue, but this one pulled me in from the beginning. It's a wonderful story with richly drawn characters and a plot set against the impending... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amy Beth Jacobson
Great book - lots of detail about complicated financial instruments but clearly explained. Very amusing look at life in the fast lane, and not exactly keeping up with the Jones... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Patricia McGrath
This book was a good read, but I felt that it was little muddled and long at parts. It is the story of an enormously wealthy family, taken down by it's own lies... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Prairie Wife
I found the book somewhat hard going, probably because it isn't my usual read, however, I stuck with it to the end and found it more enjoyable towards the end. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mr. A. Trafford
Suspense, lies, trickery, deceit, love, loyalty, family, tradition is found in this plot about a nanny who survives the mortgage crises through the eyes of a rich family in London.Published 24 months ago by A. Massey