William D. Thomas places an advertisement in his local newspaper seeking a nanny for his new-born baby, after William’s wife dies in childbirth. He has no idea what story is about to unfold when an experienced nanny arrives at 43 Laurence Street. The housekeeper of the house, Mrs McHugh, talks over her worries about the new nanny with her friend Betty, a bed-ridden woman with a view through her window right at the house. Meanwhile, bodies of twin babies are discovered buried in the garden of a Dublin home. Is there any connection between this crime and the mysterious nanny that showed up in a house in Drogheda?
The story successfully brings us back to 1880’s Ireland. Starting from the dialogue, the attire and environment and up to and including even the smallest of details, all of it seemed to be time appropriate. It added a significant authenticity to the read, it helped immerse the reader more into it. Even a simple fact of being allowed to smoke inside the train, I wouldn’t have thought of that but the author obviously has and that’s amazing.
Nicola has done an incredible job describing the world that the story took place in. I especially admired the natural progression she made between scenes, at times it felt as if I was watching a movie – where the camera starts in one spot and then moves to the point of interest, perhaps even coming back around to the original starting spot to finish it all off. It added dynamic to the read.
As for the plot itself, it is a very unique one. Right from the beginning, the readers are aware who the bad person is. It isn’t your typical crime novel where you have to find out who commited it, you already know. But “The Nanny at Number 43” has an interesting take on it, for throughout it all, we get to learn the backstories of each and all of the main characters. They help us understand where they’re coming from and perhaps they teach us why they have the values and personalities that they do. It helps to try and understand the mind of a person capable of such things and the motives. Shows how complicated humans and their individual lives can be, how the actions and consequences of others can have a massive impact on us.
The story is also told from different points of view, it is shifting between characters but also between narrative perspective – first and third person to be exact. It gives an exact sense of who the author wanted us to focus on the most.
There is mystery cloud around what exactly has happened, what is currently happening and why. All of this is answered through the stories of the people involved. As a reader, you are still left to theorize and put it all together – that itself is more than enough to make you want to keep reading!
However the ending is ever so slightly anti-climatic. There is no big revelation and I didn’t expect there to be, but when I finished reading it, that was that. I didn’t really feel any overwhelming and intense emotions.
“The Nanny at Number 43” is an enjoyable, quick read for fans of historical fiction but not only. I am not that familiar with this genre, yet I have had a good time reading the novel. It included a very intriguing and thought-provoking storyline filled with beautiful descriptions of the world and life back in 1880’s. It has a lot of charm to it. The author did a great job of painting a picture of a local community and its members, the characters were versatile and relatable. Nicola creates an amazing balance between many different parts to the story and the way they all came together was smooth and natural.
Thank you for reading this review, I hope you enjoyed it, let me know your thought down in the comment section below!
Thank you to Nicola for sending me her book to review and for including me in her Book Tour. If you’re interested, you can follow Nicola and her work here:
Until next time, Dream On, Dreamers!