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The Nanny    by Melissa Nathan order for
by Melissa Nathan
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2003 (2003)

* *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

Jo Green's twenty-third birthday heralds for her a growing disenchantment with her monotonous life in the small village of Niblet-upon-Avon, where she still lives with her parents. She craves excitement and change, which she soon gets when the comfortably rich Fitzgeralds of London hire her to be their three children's new nanny.

Dazzled by the luxuries available to her as a London nanny, Jo has no idea what she's let herself in for. Though the children entrusted to her care vary between being utter brats and adorable little angels, Jo soon gets a handle on them. It's the parents Fitzgerald who make her uncomfortable with their poisonously sweet bickering and one-upmanship. Initially homesick and overwhelmed, Jo soon makes friends and finds herself attracting more men than she can handle. The eldest Fitzgerald son Josh confuses and attracts her equally; Gerry the cop just won't take a hint; and then there is her old boyfriend Shaun. Juggling work with her complicated love life, Jo rapidly begins to feel that her days hold altogether too much excitement.

Melissa Nathan's humorous writing style, devious plot development and wonderful characterizations, help to overcome the general predictability of the story. Jo is an admirable heroine who makes life-altering decisions and in the end emerges a stronger and better person. The complex relationships between the Fitzgeralds are also interesting to observe, with varying power dynamics between the parents, Vanessa and Dick. Readers get to have a lot of fun as Jo stumbles around trying to understand her own heart. The Nanny, an amusing tale of love and misunderstanding, is an enjoyable read.

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