You’ll Love Nina, too

Nina Stibbe would have been my perfect nanny–no Mary Poppins for my kids, thank you.  Irreverent, funny, intellectually curious, and nonjudgmental, Stibbe is the imperfect, perfect addition to a quirky, bookish, artistic, non-traditional family.  My household is much less upscale than the one in the tony section of  London in which 20-year-old Nina lands a job in 1982.  Her employer is Mary Kay Wilmers, single mother and editor of the London Review of Books.    A regular at the table each evening is renowned playwright, Alan Bennett, among other stars of arts and letters.  Conversations are a lot less highbrow and more bawdy than one might imagine.  Mary Kay’s two sons have no choice but to be precocious, a state that is only enhanced by the presence of their nanny.  Stibbe has a genius for capturing the small hilarious moments of life and for creating them, whether she’s trapped into telling small lies that trip her up or playing an elaborate prank on someone.  Her highly entertaining memoir, Love Nina: a Nanny Writes Home consists entirely of letters written to her sister between 1982 and 1987.  The form is perfect for relating how her relationships with a wide cast of characters develop in an unsentimental, yet heartwarming way; everyone seems to fall in love with Nina.

If you enjoy reading books in letter format, you might also enjoy:

Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer

Letters from Skye by Jessica Blackmole

I’ll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


and  forthcoming (reserve them now):

Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan

God is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster

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