The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan #bookreview

About this book…

Seven-year-old Jocelyn loves her nanny more than her own mother.
When her nanny disappears one night, Jo never gets over the loss.
How could she vanish without saying goodbye?

Thirty years on, Jo is forced to return to her family home and confront her troubled relationship with her mother. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of the house, Jo begins to question everything.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks at the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again as, one by one, she discovers her childhood memories aren’t what they seemed.

What secrets was her nanny hiding – and what was she running away from? And can Jo trust what her mother tells her?

Sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

What did I think…

When a favourite author brings out a new book there’s always a worry that it’s not going to live up to expectations but Gilly Macmillan is a class act and The Nanny was absolutely spot on. I do love a dysfunctional family and here we have one of my favourite families of the year so far! Three generations of the Holt women come together when a shocking discovery is made in the grounds of their home. Does this tie in with events from the past that Jocelyn thinks she remembers? And what happened to The Nanny? Once you picked up this book you won’t be able to put it down until you find out the truth.

This was a great read that really kept the tension high throughout. First impressions were quickly overturned once the secrets from the past started crawling out of the woodwork and I enjoyed working out what had happened all those years ago to have caused such a family rift! There were some unexpected twists and turns along the way and a super ending that shocked the hell out of me! But essentially I was really curious about the relationship between Jo and her mother, which was strained to say the least!

The storyline was solidly crafted and flowed perfectly with the pace being slow enough to be able to build up characters and descriptive prose but not so slow as to cause the reader to lose interest! And I did like the way in which we hear from both Jo and her mother Virginia as well as the investigating police officer who didn’t seem as impartial as he should have been-I mean a crime is a crime if committed with intent so a victims social standing shouldn’t be used as a weapon to be beat them with!

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of The Nanny as the tension increased to a denouement that made me squeal! It’s a darkly atmospheric, chilling book with some great characters. Overall one that I’m definitely recommending!

Meet the author…

Gilly Macmillan is the New York Times bestselling author of WHAT SHE KNEW (previously published as BURNT PAPER SKY in some territories), THE PERFECT GIRL, ODD CHILD OUT & I KNOW YOU KNOW. THE NANNY is coming in 2019.

Gilly is Edgar Award nominated and an ITW award finalist. Her books have been translated into over 20 languages.

She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and also lived in Northern California. She studied History of Art at Bristol University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Gilly lives in Bristol, UK with her family and writes full time. She’s currently working on her sixth novel.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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