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What the Nanny Saw
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What the Nanny Saw

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,953 ratings  ·  265 reviews
It’s the summer of 2008. For the past decade Nick and Bryony Skinner and their four children have ridden high on the economic boom, but their luck is about to run out. Suddenly, the privileged family finds itself at the center of a financial scandal:
their Central London house is besieged by the press, Nick disappears, and Bryony and the children become virtual prisoners in
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Riverhead Books (first published 2011)
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3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,953 ratings  ·  265 reviews

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Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I began reading What the Nanny Saw I wasn’t overly impressed or bowled away by the first few chapters. It seemed slow to start and only mildly interesting. However, as I delved deeper into the book, I found it harder and harder to put down. The plot was absolutely compelling.

If I were to rate this book on character development alone, I would probably give it a two. While the story is rich with characters, I found that I was indifferent to them. The main character Ali is the nanny who sees a
Sep 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
At first glance you might think that this book is another story of a young female being overworked while caring for privileged children of rich snobby parents, ala The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin. But if you keep up with this story you come across a much deeper read that involves the 2008 banking crises, family interactions and even the theme of trust and loyalty.

Nick Skinner is the managing director of an investment bank connected with a major US investment bank. Bryony owns a financial pu
Apr 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star-awful
'What the Nanny Did' or 'What the Nanny Didn't Do but Should Have Done' or even 'Who the Nanny Did' would have all been better titles for this book.

This book was terrible. And the funny thing is that the person who read it before me agreed as well! I picked this book up at my local thrift store, and the previous reader had made notes all along the margins correcting the authors spelling, grammar, and loop holes. So that was an added bonus to this story.

I only read this book for a personal read
Kelly Jean
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. I agree with other reviewers that it was slow-starting at first. I hung in there because the subject matter interested me (although I would have been fine with a lot less financial details). I was very annoyed about halfway through the book when a background story showed up out of nowhere for Ali which seemed totally out of character for her. I thought it did nothing for the book, and if it had to be included, should have been at the start.
I finished it but i
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There has been a lot of commentary recently about chick lit and its place in the literary spectrum - with What the Nanny Saw, Fiona Neill makes a beautiful riposte. It has all the components of a chick lit novel - over-the-top characters, a slightly contrived situation, a romance that you can see coming - but places them within a fiercely intelligent story examining the minutiae of scandal, finance and the media.

On the face of it, we are reading about Ali Sparrow and her attempts to play the par
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What the Nanny Saw gives an intimate, indepth look at the world of high finance in 2008 London from the perspective of a nanny in the home of an investment banker, Nick Skinner and his wife, Bryony, owner of her own PR company. Their life of privilege includes a five-story house in the best section of London, private schools for their four chiildren, summer house in Greece, live-in staff, and extravagant purchases, and a dinner party where Elton John entertains. When Ali is hired as nanny to the ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For a 450 page book, I was not overly impressed. While I did finish the entire thing, I feel like it was way too drawn out, and there were many details that related to the financial crisis aspect of the story that should have been drawn out more than others. I feel like there were some parts of the book that didn't necessarily belong in the text and I found myself questioning why they were included. While the story is supposed to be about the credit crisis and its effect on the Skinner family (a ...more
Renita D'Silva
Well written and addictive
Funmi Adetunji
This was not a particularly good book. In fact, it was really boring. I admit, I only got halfway through before I decided to quit. I was really struggling to get through it, and there's no reason why that should be. The plot itself is uncreative, but not terrible- a poor college student takes a year off to work as a nanny for an affluent London family. Some financial scandal occurs, and the nanny is asked to give her testimony. The writing was okay, too. Maybe introducing the 'secret scandal' i ...more
Erin Gillen
cute....much like Nanny diaries...i found it entertaining if not somewhat predictable....a good mindless beach kind of book....though I did learn a fun fact...the reason the Meditteranean sea is so clear is for lack of phosphorous which phytoplankton need to thrive (it seems that they are what gives our ocean a "less clear" appearance) for me, the book was worth the answer to one more jeopardy question!
Ellyn Oaksmith
One sentence in this book had me plowing through it to see what happens. It has nothing to do with the background of this story, which is the financial downfall of the sub-prime mortgage industry of 2008. It's the love affair that a nanny has while working for a supremely rich family in London. "She felt loved," was the sentence and we hear it as she is fleeing the home, even as she feels drawn to it's inhabitants.

What is refreshing about this book is that unlike many books about the uber-wealt
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars Rounded up because of its ability to bring such a visceral reaction with its inside perspective.

Reading took a back seat as our family did a major downsize, packed, and moved over the past few months. However, this book was such an engrossing read that I couldn't keep from sneaking in a few chapters late each night, though I was dead tired and had an overload of sorting/packing to do.

Set in London in 2008 during the financial downturn, it is the story of a 21 year old university studen
Steph Hall
This book was an OK read, though the main character Ali was not very believable and I felt the author was using the characters in her own way, rather than staying true to them as "individuals" if that makes sense. It was one of those books that you kind of feel you have read before as it has many cliches, but its an OK "switch your brain off" type of read. However, I have to say that whilst I am not a prude, I do hate the use of the "c" word (the 4 letter one!) in a book, and it lent nothing to ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Another great book by Fiona Neill. Slummy Mummy is one of my very favorite books, but I was hesitant to read this book since I knew it wasn't a comedy. You can't really compare the two books.

After I got through the first 100 pages, I was hooked and could hardly put the book down. Great character development, clever transitions, and careful weaving of the story about the banking crisis and collapse as well as greed, drive, and belonging. It was GREAT!
Long, detailed account of a young English woman who ends up as a nanny for a family embroiled in the financial scandals of 2007-2008. The characters are very well fleshed out, and I actually learned quite a bit about what caused the finance crisis, though the details are mercifully couched in a more mundane story about what it's like to be the hired help for a very rich family.
May 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me of the Nanny Diaries but set in London and the Nanny was employed by a financial banker accused of insider trading. It was a quick read and fairly entertaining but nothing I would recommend.
Quite a good book, too much banking/shares stuff in it though. The rest of the story is good and it would have been better to have had more of the character storylines rather than banking stuff that I really don't understand. Would have liked the ending to have been better though.
Sheryl Haut
Was light but a very engaging read
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-reviews
Ali becomes a nanny for a rich couple, Nick and Byrony. She is to mainly watch five-year old twins, who have frustrated their mother by keep talking in a secret language that nobody understands. There is also a 14 year old girl who seems to have anorexia and a 19 year old boy that has gone off to college.

The first couple of chapters were a bit confusing as I tried to figure out what was going on, it was after and there was some kind of financial disaster with Nick's company and he was possibly g
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Low 4
I love the way Fiona Neill develops the characters in her books - so much so that I miss them when I finish the book and I have to wait a while before I start reading something else ...
This is the 3rd book I’ve read by this author and whilst the story/subject matter wasn’t as ‘punchy’ as The Betrayals and The Good Girl, the characters were as finely tuned as ever.
Slow to start but still a good read
Not exactly what I thought it would be. If you're thinking it'll be some sort of mystery, it's not. It's a rather bland story with characters you neither love nor hate. It's well written which is what moved it from 2 stars to 3 but I don't think that's enough of a reason to read something.
Rachel Lynas
Like other people have said it took me a while to get into this book but once I did well I couldn't put it down.
The first chapter felt very much like it should have been in the middle of the book, which may be why i struggled to get going with it.
Jennifer Plante
Disappointing and far too long for what it was.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chic-lit-type
Mindless and predictable and more like what the nanny didn't do!
Marsha Decaprio
Didn’t finish this book. Very boring! Not my kind of book for sure!
Alex Sheehan
Could've done without the first 250 pages (out of 463 total). This book is confused about what it wants to be.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lennore Turcotte
Enjoyed the story but the details were too long and too repetitive!
Terri Epp
Incredibly slow read.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m tired of reading books where I despise all of the characters.
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Very true to life! 2 12 Mar 28, 2013 07:29AM  

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Fiona Neill is a novelist and journalist. She was born in 1966. Her first novel The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy, based on her column in The Times Magazine every Saturday, was published in 2007. It was widely acclaimed and went on to become a Sunday Times bestseller that sold in twenty-five countries.

Brought up in Norfolk, she now lives in London with her husband and three children.

Fiona is pres
“It was both exhilarating and terrifying to discover that someone needed you as much as you needed them.” 4 likes
“That was the wonderful thing about the alchemy of passion, the slightest gesture became something beautiful.” 1 likes
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