The Nanny

The Nanny

by Gilly Macmillan


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The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew conjures a dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets that explores the lengths people will go to hurt one another.

When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062875556
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 68,327
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Gilly Macmillan is the Edgar nominated and New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew, The Perfect Girl, Odd Child Out, I Know You Know, and The Nanny. She grew up in Swindon, Wiltshire and lived in Northern California in her late teens. She worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she's worked as a part-time lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.

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The Nanny: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
cloggiedownunder 23 days ago
The Nanny is the fifth novel by British author, Gilly Macmillan. It's with great reluctance that recently widowed Jo Black returns to Lake House, her Pewsey Vale childhood home, with her ten-year-old daughter Ruby. The last thing she wants is to be beholden to Lady Virginia Holt, the mother she remembers without any fondness. But her husband Chris's death has left her homeless and temporarily without funds. The person who featured most fondly in Jocelyn Holt’s childhood was Hannah, the nanny who cared daily for her until she suddenly disappeared without trace from Lake House when Jo was seven. Jo’s memory of the time is a little fuzzy. When skeletal remains are found in the lake, Jo can’t help but wonder if her nanny met a violent end. Virginia’s insistence that the bones are very old only increases Jo’s suspicion. Detective Constable Andy Wilton is fairly certain that Lady Holt, with her cut-glass accent, knows a lot more than she’s saying about the remains. He’s firmly of the opinion that these upper-class types think they’re above the law, and he’s determined to get to bottom of this case. The present day narrative is from three perspectives: Virginia, whose apparently genuine anxiety over the welfare of her daughter and granddaughter is at odds with Jo’s recollection of her; Jo, whose overriding concern is getting a job so she can get Ruby away from the influence of the (possibly demented) mother she still loathes; and DC Andy Wilton, who is intent on identifying the (probable) murder victim. The eponymous nanny’s narrative covers events leading to, and during, her time as Jocelyn Holt’s nanny. Once again, Macmillan gives the reader a brilliant mystery with several red herrings, a couple of twists, a good dose of irony and a thrilling climax. There’s art fraud and assumed identities, and even the most astute reader is unlikely to guess exactly what happened before all is revealed, and after that, Macmillan has one more surprise up her sleeve. This might just be Macmillan’s best yet.
JHSEsq 29 days ago
Jo returns home broken following the sudden death of her husband, Chris. She must put the interests of their five-year-old daughter, Ruby, ahead of all else. While Chris's business affairs are sorted out, she plans to stay with her mother. Jo's father is deceased and she hasn't seen her mother in a decade. From Jo's perspective, her mother bullied her throughout her childhood. Against that backdrop, as Jo and Ruby explore the shore of the island situated in the middle of the lake, Ruby discovers a human skull with fracture lines across the dome. The authorities begin investigating, using DNA and other techniques to ascertain the decedent's age and identity. Could it be Hannah's remains? After all, she was never heard from again after she suddenly left the Holts' employ. MacMillan relates the story through alternating first-person narratives from Jo and her mother, Virginia. The discovery of the human remains sends both women into an emotional frenzy. For Jo, it brings "a strange, creeping sense of inevitability" as she posits whether it could explain what happened to Hannah. But for Virginia, the ongoing police investigation threatens the revelation of secrets that she has kept for many years. As the story progresses, MacMillan makes clear that nothing the police learn is going to come as a surprise to Virginia, and there are even more things about her character and her past that are deeply troubling. The only guileless character is little Ruby, a typical little girl thrust into the grief of losing a parent and the upheaval that followed it. She must start a new school, attempt to make new friends, and adjust to living in the ancestral home of a grandfather she will never now while getting acquainted with a grandmother she has never met before. Her new life is nothing at all like the one she left behind in California. Jo is in the midst of a personal crisis as a result of losing her husband, financial security, and the home she built with him far away from the disturbing memories of her childhood. Jo grew up believing that her mother was the source of all of he problems. Her naivete might prove to be her downfall. In fact, it could prove to be deadly. And MacMillan injects a third-person narrative, detailing the activities of another woman. Linda Taylor escaped a brutal, abusive childhood and reinvented herself many years ago. How does she figure into the mystery unfolding in the Holt family? Through a cleverly-plotted mystery, MacMillan illustrates how Jo's long-held assumptions have informed her own decision-making. But she was not the only member of the Holt family who misunderstood what was happening right before her eyes, the import of those events, or the long-lasting consequences thereof. Each of the three women at the center of the tale is flawed in significant ways. Those flaws not only compel the action forward at an unrelenting pace. They also make those characters intriguing and keep readers guessing about their moral ambiguities right up to the shocking conclusion. At the heart of MacMillan's family drama is a surprisingly touching examination of the mother-daughter relationship. Neither Jo nor Virginia is fully good or evil. Both are victims not only of their own choices, but of jealousy, misperceptions, assumptions, manipulations, and betrayals that MacMillan reveals at defty-timed junctures. Can the villain Can the villainous plans put into motion be discovered and derailed in time to them?
Bookish_Anki 3 months ago
I enjoyed reading The Nanny & was happy how the story started & the way it ended. This was a 5⭐️ thriller for me. I love multiple POV style narration as it feels good to know what the character is feeling and what’s going in their mind, its creepy but that’s what you need in a thriller. It also pained me so much to see the bitter relationship between Jo & her mother Jo is devastated when her beloved Nanny disappears suddenly & she grows up distant from her parents & eventually leaves their home, she never found out what happened then. After thirty years, Jo returns to her home and now she has to confront her troubled relationship with her mother & then there are human remains uncovered in the lake on their estate which makes Jo wonder if she can trust her mother or her memories of what happened in the past The story was good paced I would say not fast & definitely not slow, it picks up after few pages, The Nanny really freaked me out, I kept turning pages to find out more about the lurking secrets and who should be trusted. I felt the story was like a puzzle you really won’t get why there are so many pieces to it but then more than halfway through you will be able to put it together and its satisfying to see how Gilly has brilliantly knitted it together I received a complimentary copy by William Morrow & all opinions are my own.
Sensitivemuse 3 months ago
This one was off to a slow start but it was worth sticking through it. As the story progressed it got more interesting and intriguing. With a really good ending it was well worth the read. The story alternates between several different points of view. At first, it may seem haphazard and all over the place. At certain times it’s a little confusing and as mentioned earlier, it’s slow to start. The time jumps back and forth also add a bit to the confusion but once you get the characters straightened it makes a whole lot of sense (and adds a lot of the mystery that is scattered throughout the novel) None of the characters are likable although Virginia starts to grow on you as you learn more about her and what she went through. It’s surprising at first because she comes across as high brow, snobby and doesn’t really treat Jo like she should. As the story goes on however, you figure out why and what was behind her behavior. All the pieces start falling into place and it makes for a real good plot. As mentioned before, the plot jumps back and forth and may be hard to follow. Eventually everything starts making sense and turns out to be a well written thriller. The ball gets rolling as the story progresses. I have to admit, however , the role of the police in this book wasn’t much of an impact and it looked like they were just there to tie loose ends and to be a filler. Oh well, I suppose the police can’t do everything right? Well worth the read if you stick with the slow start. Absolutely loved the fitting ending!
OakCityBooks 3 months ago
I've read 3 books this summer (ok, this is the last book that we can call summer) that all included a Nanny as one of the main characters. This one had me guessing all the way until the end. As far as a review goes, I felt this book grabbed me at the beginning and it crawled a little more than I typically like in the middle. However, I found the ending (last 75-80 pages) to be extremely suspenseful and as the pages decreased I just couldn't figure out how it was going to end. I had so many questions about the skull in the lake and the identity of the Nanny that abruptly disappeared and then showed up just as she never left. I fell in love with the home and grounds of Lord and Lady Holt as I read descriptions of their historic home. I felt it was lavish and Gatsby-ish but full of secrets only Lady Holt knew. I could relate the most to Jo, the character who left the fortune and prominence of her family behind when she was old enough to, to make a life for herself that she didn't need her parent's money to support. I felt like the author did an amazing job making Jo into a "normal," struggling mom and widow and I found myself counting on a good ending for her and her daughter, Ruby. This book and the ending did not disappoint. As expected, buried secrets about the past present themselves and threaten to tarnish the reputation and wealth the Holts are known for. Gilly does a superb job weaving the characters together in a seamless way so that by the last sentence, you understand the twists and turns, the details, and motives of the villain(s). This was an awesome read, I highly recommend it. You'll be in the mansion, living the estate life right beside Jo and her mom. And, trying to put all of the pieces together. I was provided this book by @Netgalley and @harpercollinspublisher in exchange for an honest review of this book. I appreciate the opportunity to get my hands on this page-turner before the rest of the world and appreciate @gillymacmillan for carving the characters out just right, detail by detail, fracture by fracture. This one was a great escape. @netgalley @gillymacmillan #newrelease #harpercollins @harpercollinspublisher #thriller #thenanny #trustnoone #yikes #quickread #lovebooks #bookreview #bookblog #blogabook
Alix Maza 3 months ago
The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan is a great psychological suspense read!! I read the synopsis a while back and was instantly hooked. I’m a sucker for an British story of the upper classes, their ‘help’ and all the secrets and scandals. I’m here for all of it! The story hooks you by like chapter one and leaves you constantly wanting more. It wasn’t a heart pounding thriller (I just finished The Last Widow which was a THRILL RIDE). I would definitely dub it a slow burn read. Macmillan’s writing style is character based and focuses more on their journeys than mouth dropping twist and turns. I remember thinking that when I read ‘The Perfect Girl’. The characters are flawed- class divides, power plays, secrets and a somewhat coldness reigns supreme in all of them. The main character did get on my nerves a bit. She is so MEAN to her mother. Everything is explained by the end, but like gahhh she really hates the woman. Towards the end of the book, I wanted to slap her, shake her violently and yell WAKE UP AND SMELL THE MANIPULATION! While it doesn’t shock you or completely wreck your mind, it leaves you feeling satisfied and has almost like a ‘happily ever after’ end. Short review: a great British psychological suspense book!
Karenrmicone 3 months ago
Have you ever read a book where the character is so deliciously despicable you hurry to the ending to make sure they get what they deserve? That is how I read The Nanny in one night. I won’t say which character so as not to give anything away, because honestly it could have been any of them. Gilly Macmillan does an excellent job of making the reader feel invested in the story so much, you want to bring justice yourself!
LeslieLindsay 3 months ago
NYT Bestselling author, Gilly Macmillan is back with this dark, original, and diabolically clever tale of family secrets, set in a U.K. manor home. I've read all of Gilly Macmillan's books and I think THE NANNY (September 10 William Morrow) must be her darkest, most sinister tale yet. Each one just gets better and better. Years ago, in 1988, 7yo Jo (Jocelyn's) nanny, Hannah, left without a trace. Jo was devastated. No one spoke of her again. Jo grew up bitter and distanced from her family; there was very little relationship between she and her mother Virginia (Ginny). Eventually, Jo leaves her aristocratic family and home--Lake Hall--behind for California. She marries and works in the art world--until her husband unexpectedly dies. It's been thirty years, and Jo must return home to Lake Hall. She's dreading this. She and her mother are estranged and there's a stuffiness to this upper class life she desperately wishes to avoid. While she and her daughter, Ruby, are kayaking in the lake, they discover a human skull. This couldn't be her long-lost nanny, could it? And then there's an unexpected visitor. She looks stunningly like the old nanny. But the skull? Told in alternating POVs, we get glimpses of Jo, Virginia, and the late 1970s, early 1980s from an unnamed narrator, which really brings the period to life. I loved the details about the fashion. But there are gaping holes in Jo's memory, and everything she thought she knew about herself and her childhood comes into question. The entire reading experience is one of dark foreboding, a menacing appeal that that get under your skin and have you turning the pages at break-neck speed. There were a few instan L/ces in which I felt there was too much coincidence and stunted character development (for example, I wanted to know more about Jo's American life and her grief), and at times, I liked no one, but kept reading because I absolutely had to discover the mystery of the skull. All in all, THE NANNY is a twisted tale of lies, deception, secrets, and more. I found some similarities between THE NANNY and THE AU PAIR (Emma Rous)--both wealthy families in the 1980s UK with a nanny but slightly different stories--plus, THE MOTHER-IN-LAW (Sally Hepworth) with a touch of Shari Lapena's SOMEONE WE KNOW and a skosh of Lisa Unger's work. L.Lindsay|Always with a Book