“The Foreign Land of the Very Wealthy – otherwise known as Manhattan’s Upper East Side – has its own rigid code of behaviour. It’s a code strictly adhered to by the Wilder-Bingham family.
Emotional displays – unacceptable. Unruly behaviour – definitely not welcome. Fun – no thanks.
This is Glenn Wilder-Bingham’s kingdom. A beautifully displayed impeccably edited fortress of restraint. So when Rosie Kitto, an eccentric thirty-eight-year-old primary school teacher from England, bounces into their lives with a secret sorrow and a heart as big as the city, nobody realises that she hasn’t read the rule book. For the Wilder-Bingham family, whose lives begin to unravel thread by thread, the consequences are explosive. Because after a lifetime of saying no, what happens when everyone starts saying . . . yes?”
I picked this up purely because of the author. I absolutely love Dawn French, and after reading the blurb I thought this book would be great.
The story started well and the main character Rosie was described warmly. She moved to Manhattan to ditch her life in the UK, and lands herself a job as a nanny to twin boys of the Wilder-Bingham family. She brings some much needed fun into the boy’s lives and in time brings the fun side out in their grandfather and older brother after years of being told how to act by the head of the family, the grandmother.
About halfway through the book the plot takes a strange leap, and not in a good way. Rosie teaches the twins things like swear words and obscenities, and then she sleeps her way through the family; first the grandfather, then the grandson, then the son and seemingly has no shame. I just found this hard to believe and a complete contrast to the beginning to the book. Then Rosie ends up pregnant with no idea who the father is, but the whole family rally around her even though they all know what the other’s been up to. Odd! And that’s where the book ends, with the birth of the child who’s Dad is in the room but you just don’t know who.
I can’t say I’d recommend this book, but it hasn’t put me off Dawn French as an author – I’ll have to read another of her novels to see if they’re all similar!
One thing is for certain – I won’t be picking this up again.