At sixteen, Grace Caton boards her first airplane, leaving behind the tropical papaya and guava trees of her small village in Trinidad for another island, this one with tall buildings, graceful parks, and all the books she can read. At least that's what Grace imagines. But from the moment she touches down, nothing goes as planned. The aunt who had promised to watch over he...more
16-year old Grace has a good family in Trinidad but thinks her new life will be better in the U.S. Her aunt arranges a job with her cousin, living in her home, caring f...more
A sixteen year old Trinidadian girl flies to New York City seeking adventure and the opportunity to work and study. Her cousin fails to meet her at the airport and she makes her way into the city on her own. From the getgo, she is very much alone. Not yet stre...more
In the beginning I found myself sympathizing with Grace and I qui...more
Reviewed by Moirae the Fates book reviews
The Nanny Diaries meets The Help in a riveting debut novel that follows an idealistic young woman as she leaves Trinidad for a new life in New York City---as a nanny.
Minding Ben invites readers into the private world of one of the anonymous West Indian babysitters who have peopled the lives of so many young urban families for decades. Grace left Trinidad for New York with hopes for a better life and education. As she struggle...more
And what I found it to be was a wonderfully, dark piece of literature about the human soul and its will to survive. It is difficult for a girl at the age of 16 to travel to a new country, attempt to find work, and manage to survive all on her own. I know this because my own grandmo...more
I did have...more
Sponsorship. An entry into being a citizen of the USA. That’s the bottom line here and young Grace Caton from Trinidad has been prom...more
I'd say that's a sign of a good book.
While some of those frustrations could have been handled much earlier on...more
I have never been so frustrated at a character for not sticking up for herself in my life, nor have I been so impatient to be finished with a book. The account Brown gives of her main character, Grace's, indentured servitu...more
I appreciated the author's inclusive nature, bringing the reader into the world of Trinidad's young culture and illegal immigrants working as nannies. The unique way that the main character, Grace, views her world is so applicable to what we've all been through growing up: trying not to appear naive and green, but being so very much so. Just the fact that she has to lie about her age, feels like the young striving...more
Mary Jones in book club agreed with me, but the others enjoyed...more
When she arrives, the cousin is nowhere to be found, leaving Grace stranded at the airport. So Grace finds her way into the city and eventually lives with a friend of a friend of a friend, unable to find a decent job without her green card or a sponsor, and she is becoming desperate.
I'd love to...more
The only problem is that the book should have been twice as long! Not only because I was sorry to see it end, but because it seemed to...more
I did enjoy Minding Ben. It did a nice job of following the life of Grace from Trinidad, and her struggles when she reached America. It did not answer all your questions right away and sometimes you felt like something was being overlooked or you were left in the dark, but eventually most of them were answered.
I would have marked it 5 stars, but the ending wrapped up things a bit too nicely. It would have been better had Grace developed her confiden...more