Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins

Posted On 2 December 2021

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My Five Word TL:DR Review : Mixed feelings for this one


Nanny Dearest is a well written and engaging book by an author that I would definitely check out again, however, I didn’t completely love it.

This is a story about a woman in her mid-twenties who bumps into a person from her past that she doesn’t recall.  Sue Keller is a woman in her mid-twenties, lonely and suffering mentally following the death of her remaining parent in a tragic accident. She doesn’t recall the nanny who took care of her when she was a toddler but she’s desperate to hear stories of the time and happy to meet up with Annie to discover more of the mother she lost to illness so long ago.

What immediately becomes apparent is that Sue is desperately looking for someone maternal in her life, someone she can lean on a little. What isn’t immediately apparent is that Annie is equally in need of this connection for her own reasons.

Nanny Dearest is told through two alternating povs, Annies account of events when she first started nannying for the Kellers and current day with Sue first meeting Annie when she’s going through such a bad patch in her life.  I have to say that I do love dual timelines like this and it works particularly well here because all though Sue does sometimes recall certain events, for the most part, it’s Annie that’s giving us an account of what took place way back when – and oddly enough, although I wouldn’t particularly say she’s trustworthy I think she is a reliable narrator here.

For a debut novel I have to say that I’m really impressed with the writing.  Collins can certainly set a scene to perfection and also manages to achieve a steady drip feed of tension as the cracks in this strange relationship begin to show.

So, why did I have mixed feelings.  Well, firstly, this is a slow build of a story – but on this occasion that isn’t in fact a criticism, in fact, to be honest I preferred the first half of the book where there was the expectation of something being revealed later down the line.  The tension and expectation kept me pretty much glued to the page and there was this deliciously easy build up that something was about to happen.  But, yes, I admit that this is a slow burn.  My mixed feelings come more into play regarding the characters.  I mean, I didn’t really like any of them.  Even the periphery characters.  The thing with that is that I think the two central characters are struggling with mental health issues so it feels wrong to say I didn’t like them – but, some of the decisions and actions they made just baffled me.  And, the ending.  What just happened?  There was a feeling that the reveal was working up to something really huge but ultimately it felt a little disappointing for me.

All that being said, I very much think my over active imagination didn’t help with this read.  I think I was expecting a psychological horror where this felt more like a suspense with strong obsessive vibes. As I mentioned I think the writing was really good though and although this particular book didn’t quite work for me I think this author shows great promise.

I received a copy through Netgalley courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 3 of 5 stars


6 Responses to “Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins”

  1. Tammy

    It sounds like a really good premise. Maybe her next book will be more to your taste.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I mean, tbf, this does some things very well, but it didn’t work for me – and this could be due to the wrong expectations.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Aw, I grabbed the audio of this book to review because it sounded so interesting! I mean, it still sounds really good, but too bad the execution wasn’t ideal.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, shame really – sometimes I find the audio grabs me slightly differently though so you never know.
      Lynn 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    This one sounds a little like one of Sarah Pinborough’s stories, where the element of mystery resides more in the characters than the events surrounding them. Very intriguing, despite those little “hiccups” 🙂

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