Book Review: The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan



Title: The Nanny
Gilly Macmillan
Ebook, 400 pages
Goodreads page

I received an arc copy from William Morrow via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review


25 years ago, Jo’s beloved nanny, Hannah, suddenly disappears. Leaving her stuck with her mother whom she can’t stand.

Now, in the wake of her husband’s sudden death, Jo and her daughter, Ruby, have moved back to Lake Hall. Jo and her mother, Virginia, immediately butt heads. But their relationship is pushed to its limits when an unexpected guest shows up at their door.


This book was unfortunately just okay. I found some parts surprising and intriguing but overall this felt more like a familial drama than mystery/thriller to me.

POV – This has multiple POVS in multiple timelines:

  • Present day, 1st person Jocelyn Holt
  • Present day, 1st person Virginia Holt
  • Present day, 3rd person Andy
  • Past, 3rd person Linda

Jocelyn (Jo) Holt – 30, Recently widowed and moved back home from California, Daughter Ruby

➸ Virginia Holt – Mother, Widowed

Hannah – Jo’s nanny who disappeared mysteriously 25 years ago.

Andy – Detective investigating the Holt’s.

Content Warnings: Death of a Spouse, Grief, Abuse, Murder, On page animal death, Cheating

What I Liked

➸ I liked that all of the characters were SO flawed. It made for such an interesting reading experience because you didn’t know who to trust. Since you saw so many POVs, you saw how differently everyone interpreted situations. How they favored themselves and what they needed.

➸ These characters were intriguing and kept me turning the page (albeit quite slowly). I wanted to know how some of these things tied together and wrapped up.

What I Didn’t Like

➸ The constant changing between characters and 1st/3rd person was so jarring and I never got used to it. I actually had to write down who’s POV I was currently reading because I kept getting confused. It was just too many. Which is kind of how I felt overall…

➸ This book tried to do too many things, from too many POVs, and was 100 pages too long. There were quite a few things I felt like could have been left out without changing the actual plot at all. Andy’s POV was unnecessary and brought nothing to the narrative, the “family business” was such a strange thing to add it, and all the history of the family & nanny dragged this out.

➸ The final twist just didn’t do it for me. The twist itself wasn’t exactly shocking and in the end I felt like the moral of this story was if you’re rich you can get away with anything… which left me feeling kind of uncomfortable once I put this down.

Unfortunately this was a bit of a flop for me. However I definitely think I will pick up another book by this author in the future as I think her premises are really intriguing!


I’ve also started making mood boards for each of my reads! I’m sharing them on Twitter and Instagram as well if you want to follow me there 🙂 But thought it would be fun to add them to my reviews as well!




3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

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