The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

“Can you trust her with your child?”

Publication Date: 10th September 2019
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 400
My Rating: ★★★★ 
Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads


When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…


I was first drawn to read this story because of its gripping plot. I adore mystery books that are set over the course of a few years, especially as the narrative switches between then and now, so we get glimpses of what happened and the chance to put the pieces of the puzzle together ourselves. The story follows Jo, who has recently moved back into a stately manor with her mother and her young daughter after her husband passes away. She begins to question her mother about her nanny, Hannah, who disappeared when she was a young girl and starts to uncover the mystery and a secret that threatens to tear them all apart.

The book itself follows Jo, her daughter Ruby, and her mother Virginia. The characters are all very strong and have their own separate personalities. Jo is rather laidback and prefers a more moderate lifestyle, dealing with the sudden loss of her husband, whereas her mother is a well-known woman who is elegant, surrounded by riches and struggles with her relationship with her daughter. The two are very different and, as we look back in time to when Jo was small, we can see that Virgina didn’t have much of a role in her upbringing, but rather let Hannah do all of the work. Ruby is quite a character. She is rather witty and surprisingly gets on well with her grandmother, which unsettles Jo slightly as she wasn’t planning on staying forever.

I didn’t struggle with anything in this book and ended up rating it four stars. I was surprised at how much I liked it and would highly recommend it to anyone else who enjoys a good thriller/mystery. The only reason I didn’t rate it a five stars is because, like most books I read, I find the endings to be rather sudden. I like to be eased into the twist ending, rather than randomly thrown into it half way through a chapter. I loved watched the characters develop and found myself rooting for characters I initially disliked. A good read!

2 thoughts on “The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

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