Home » Psychological Thriller » Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber : a review

Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber : a review

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts about Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber.

Advance Warning: be prepared to forget the world exists. You won’t be able to resist the compulsion to keep on turning the pages 🙂

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book cover for Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber. On orange background with a torn piece of newspaper with Nanny Wanted circled in black

Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber

  • Category : Psychological Thriller
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pan; Main Market edition (17 Aug. 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529061024
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1529061024
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads

Nanny Wanted Summary

A remote Cornish mansion. The perfect couple. And the deadly secrets that bind them.

When Lily finally leaves her toxic relationship, a job as a nanny at Kewney Manor seems like the perfect solution. There, she can cut herself off from her old life, and never have to see him again.

The Rowes seem like a model family, and Lily falls instantly in love with her new home. But she can’t help feeling that something isn’t quite right. Why will nobody tell her about the nanny who came before her? Where does Laurie go at night? And what does Charles really want?

As Lily becomes increasingly entangled in the Rowes’s lives, she realizes that the perfect family may not be all that they seem. And as much as she fears the past she is running from, perhaps the present is where the real danger lies . . .

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Nanny Wanted Review

I felt an emotional connection with Lily from the beginning.  Vulnerable and escaping from a past that has left her fearful of the world, I really wanted her to be safe and loved… 

She’s a fabulously strong lead and carries the story so well.  Her actions (at times) had me holding my head with both hands in despair but she’s not afraid to go the full distance in uncovering the truth and putting herself in danger.  Clues from her past are nebulous and did make me waiver in my belief towards her.  Was she an unreliable narrator?  This is how I felt about Rachel in Out of Her Depth too.  And isn’t this a fab skill, to make us, as readers, question what we think we know and doubt our feelings! 

It’s a strange experience being in someone else’s life and home, adapting to their routines and expectations.  Lily has to read between the lines and change her behaviours to please the Rowes because she needs this job.  It’s exhausting trying to negotiate the emotional landscape!  I think it says a lot about Lily’s character for how she copes with the seesaw of interactions!  She’s a woman I’d want by my side for sure.

Laurie and Charles not only confused me as a couple but with their separate identities too.  The combination of Lily makes this trio explosive …  you get an idea of where the story is going from the prologue, however, I was so, so wrong about all three. 

From the moment Lily steps into Kewney Manor the suspense keeps on building.  The isolation that’s meant to be a salve becomes oppressive and suffocating very quickly to the point where you forget there’s a world outside of Kewney Manor. 

Lizzy Barber’s writing style heightens the intensity and her pacing made me just want to keep reading.  In fact, I sneaked half an hour before dinner – which turned into an hour or more.  Be warned, you’ll get so into what’s happening in the story and want to know what comes next that you’ll struggle to get on with your own life 🙂

Be prepared for lots of shallow breathing (I don’t think I took a full breath until the final chapter). Yes, the suspense and fear really are that good.  I had to ground myself after a reading session because otherwise, I’d carry around the feelings.

I loved the final chapter of 2023.  Ten years later and it’s perfect.

Nanny Wanted is a gothic tale with a modern spin.  Layers and layers of emotions are peeled back to the raw core of what motivates us as humans.  Outstanding.

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About the Author

Lizzy Barber, author of Out of her Depth, is a London-based author living in Islington with her husband George. She read English at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

She has worked in acting and film development, and has spent the last eight years working in the restaurant business with her brother Jamie, heading up their brand and marketing department. They have a small group of restaurants in Mayfair: Haché, Hush and Cabana.

Twitter @ByLizzyBarber

Instagram / Threads @bylizzybarber

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