Welcome to my stop on the HTP Mystery & Thriller Blog Tour for Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins. Scroll down for my review and a Q&A with the author.
Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins, Narrated by Brittany Pressley & Reba Buhr
Expected publication: November 30th 2021 by MIRA, Harlequin Audio
About the Book: Compulsively readable domestic suspense, perfect for fans of THE TURN OF THE KEY and THE PERFECT NANNY, about a woman who takes comfort in reconnecting with her childhood nanny after her father’s death, until she starts to uncover dark secrets the nanny has been holding for twenty years.
A young woman takes comfort in reconnecting with her childhood nanny, until she starts to uncover secrets that have been buried for 20 years.
Sue Keller is lost. When her father dies suddenly, she’s orphaned in her mid-20s, her mother already long gone. Then Sue meets Annie. It’s been 20 years, but Annie could never forget that face. She was Sue’s live-in nanny at their big house upstate, and she loved Sue like she was her own.
Craving connection and mothering, Sue is only too eager to welcome Annie back into her life, but as they become inseparable once again, Sue starts to uncover the truth about Annie’s unsettling time in the Keller house all those years ago, particularly the manner of her departure – or dismissal. At the same time, she begins to grow increasingly alarmed for the safety of the two new charges currently in Annie’s care.
Told in alternating points of views – Annie in the mid ’90s and Sue in the present day – this taut novel of suspense will keep you turning the pages right up to the shocking end.
Nanny Dearest is a dual timeline story, one from the 1990s where Anneliese is Suzy’s nanny, and one from the present day where the two of them reconnect. The Keller’s are a wealthy family with Suzy’s father being a best selling author and her mother a successful interior designer. Anneliese soon becomes an integral part of the family. In the present day Anneliese and Suzy meet accidentally in New York, Suzy is deeply grieving the loss of her father who raises her after her mother’s death many years ago. Annelise seems to be thrilled to see Suzy again but Suzy doesn’t immediately remember her. As they talk and reminisce, she begins to remember “Annie” and wants to spend more time with someone from her past. Is this a good thing for Suzy?
This is a slow, at times very slow burner of domestic/psychological thriller. As we learned about both Suzy’s and Annie’s past, things became a bit clearer that Annie has an unhealthy fascination with Suzy. There were some strange tangents that this story went off on that had me confused about their relationship. Annie’s home life, when she was young, was very sad and dysfunctional, which hints at some mental health issues. In the present, Annie is a nanny for her niece and nephew but there is some eerie feelings that something is not quite right. It was about 50 to 60 percent into the story, that I became more engaged and wanted to know what was going to happen. I will say the premise of this story was good, but for some reason, I did not connect to the characters, most of them unlikable. There is also some animal cruelty in the story (a warning). Overall, this was a story that pulled me in at points, but not at others. This is Flora Collins’s debut novel, and I do see promise in her writing and look forward to seeing what she can come up with next. This is another book where I did a read/listen. I found that my mind wandered while listening, so I read most of it. The narrators, Brittany Pressley and Reba Buhr did a good job with their performances, but I think the pacing was just too slow for me. If you are one who enjoys a slow burn domestic/psychological thriller, then pick this one up, you might enjoy more than I did.
About the Author: Flora Collins was born and raised in New York City and has never left, except for a four-year stint at Vassar College. When she’s not writing, she can be found watching reality shows that were canceled after one season or attempting to eat soft-serve ice cream in bed (sometimes simultaneously). Nanny Dearest is her first novel, and draws upon personal experiences from her own family history.
Q & A with Flora Collins
Q: Please give one sentence/elevator pitch for Nanny Dearest.
A: Nanny Dearest is about a young woman who makes the fatal mistake of reconnecting with her childhood nanny.
Q: Why do you believe thrillers are so popular?
A: It is so easy to get lost in the suspense! A good thriller will keep you turning the pages, immersing the reader in the novel’s world. I also think there’s a strong schadenfreude aspect to it, too; people, at least this is true of myself, read thrillers to feel better about their own day-to-day problems.
Q: Where do you get your ideas? Of course, from your imagination, but do you read, see or hear something that clicks?
A: Mostly from documentaries, other books, stories I hear, dreams. Inspiration really can come from anywhere!
Q: Are you a plotter or panster?
A: Definitely a panster. I start with a basic idea and work from there.
Q: Any tips for would be writers?
A: Read! Everyone says that, but it’s true. And also find a couple of good beta readers whom you trust to give solid feedback. Also, as hard as it may seem, don’t let rejection get you down. Published authors usually had to write multiple stories and manuscripts before they received a book deal. Keep on going!
Q: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
A: Not really, since I read a lot of thrillers that contain many unsavory characters! However, I loved The Princess Diaries growing up, so maybe Mia Thermopalis.
Q: Did you have a nanny growing up?
A: I did! Though no one was as sinister as Anneliese, the nanny in Nanny Dearest, thankfully.
Q:I know authors do not always get to pick their titles. Did you pick this title or know what the title would be when you wrote the book?
A: Nope! My publisher picked the title. It used to be called My Only Sunshine.