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What the Nanny Saw by Fiona Neill

Pub Date: | Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor

What the Nanny Saw
Fiona Neill

Riverhead Books
8-02-12
Hardcover/452 pages
ISBN: 978-1594487163
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". . . an introspective look into moral principles . . ."

From the amazing author who wrote Slummy Mummy, Ms. Neill has once again brought forth a novel that’s a real eye-opener.

The Nanny, Ali, came to work for Nick and Bryony Skinner to take care of their four children and is present when the economy falls to dust in 2008, finding herself privy to most all of the ‘talk’ and problems that befall the family. The Skinner’s are one of those ‘groups’ who were at the top of the heap financially and had no problems looming in the future, but when the stock market took a tumble they, like many, crumbled right along with it.

The father worked in an investment bank as the managing director, while his wife was the owner of a financial public relations firm. But in the blink of an eye, the ‘good’ life they’d made for themselves and their children suddenly vanishes, and their once happy home turns into a feeding ground for reporters.

Ali watches it all unfold as the family’s friends and neighbors – not to mention the rest of their staff – hit the road in order to avoid the family’s issues. But one reporter gets in touch with Ali wanting the ‘inside information’ about the Skinner crises, and here is where the reader must take sides for or against the nanny and her actions. Watching whether Ali will take the family’s side, or choose to tell what she has witnessed in the house, is all up to her.

It’s interesting to note that the wealthy families in this story (and in real life) don’t seem to know what’s going on around them and depend on ‘the help’ to take care of their children and home. And even though this book is set in England, it truly spans all countries, seeing as that the exact same things were happening in the United States during this time period.

This novel is filled with charm, wit and offers an introspective look into moral principles featuring a ‘society’ family who was brought down by a husband accused of insider trading, a wife who tries to stand by him and the young nanny who’s thrust into the middle of it all without a clue as to what step to take when it comes to truth versus loyalty. One of the most amazing (and realistic) parts that many still do not understand is the fact that ‘the help’ can be in the room at all times and no one ever pays them any mind. Perhaps…that should change. A great read!

Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor