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 their own home. And Ali, their trusted nanny, watches it all. As the babysitter, she brings a unique insider-outsider perspective to the family, seeing far more than even the family itself is capable of. But when a reporter with a personal connection to the story comes asking her for the inside scoop, will Ali remain loyal to the family who never saw her as anything other than the help? Or will she tell her side? Written with Fiona Neill's delicious humor and addictive style, What the Nanny Saw is a keenly observed, often comical chronicle of the urban wealthy elite, of parents who are often too busy to notice what is going on under their own noses, of children left to their own devices, and of a young nanny thrown into a role she doesn't know how to play. It is a morality tale of our time, a tale of betrayal, the corrosive influence of too much money, and why good people sometimes do bad things.
Filthy-rich Bryony and Nick Skinner wanted a modern-day Mary Poppins, but what they needed was a superwoman who could "tread on the map of family life without leaving a big imprint." Twenty-one-year-old Ali Sparrow was perfect: eager to raise money to finish school, get away from a going-nowhere affair, and escape her own troubled family. London columnist and bestselling author Neill (The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy) concocts a darkly fascinating portrait of the stupid-rich, and the morally superior immigrant maids they press into service. In Ali's case, it soon becomes clear that her real job isn't just plugging domestic gaps in the lives of a banker and his wife, but rather "actually running the show," a tricky task involving needy five-year-old twins Hector and Alfie; insecure, anorexic 14-year-old Izzy; and moody, cynical 17-year-old Jake. But her hardest job by far will be keeping mum about the financial scandal that threatens to bring down the Skinners. And keeping her passionate affair with Jake, their son, in the dark will prove an even greater challenge. In this fast-paced, dishy morality tale, Neill also delivers a thoughtful dissection of how greed and hubris helped bring the banking industry to its knees in 2008. Agent: United Agents. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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August 02, 2012
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