I have become obsessed with reading now-a-days and at the minute, I just love curling up with a good book in the evenings. It's the perfect opportunity for me to unwind and relax and the perfect opportunity for my boyfriend to play his games!
I couldn't wait to dive into this book as it's Holly Peterson's debut novel and I had heard many good things about this book on several review websites.
Jamie Whitfield is living on 'The Grid', one of the most exclusive places to own an apartment in New York. She is a mother of three kids and has a husband who is a very successful lawyer, but not so brilliant at spending time with his kids. Jamie works part-time which stuns alot of the other women living on 'The Grid', but Jamie doesn't want to be a 'stay-at-home-mom'. She is a successful producer at a top American broadcasting company. Jamie already has two members of staff in the household to help with chores and cooking but after gossiping with some of the other women on 'The Grid', they suggest she should hire a manny. Now, Jamie isn't as sociable as these women, nor does she shop as a religion. She feels very out of place as she wasn't brought up the way these other women were, so of course she is unfamiliar with the term 'manny', so she's told it means a male nanny.
Jamie thinks this would be ideal as her eldest son, Dylan, is going through abit of a rough time and it makes it even worse that his father can never be around to support him. One day, while Jamie is walking through the Park, she notices a group of special needs kids playing a huge game of human chess. She clocks the guy who is teaching them and watches from a distance to see how he handles the kids. Amazed at what she see's, she approaches him and asks him all sorts of questions including his name, which is Peter Bailey, before giving him one of her cards and requests that he call her about a job she may offer him. After interviewing several people for the manny position, the only person she see's fit to look after her kids is Peter Bailey.
Over time, Peter begins to shine. He is great with the kids, especially Dylan and he's also great for Jamie, but should she be looking at the manny in THAT way? Does she still feel the same way about her husband, even though she has suspicions he is sleeping with one of the women on 'The Grid'?
Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations, which was very dissapointing because I really wanted to like it. For starters, the book doesn't even revolve around 'The Manny' despite the book being called this. This book should've been called 'Jamie Whitfield's Job' because for me, there was far too much focus around Jamie's job at her broadcasting company and about a scandalous affair between a small-town girl and a Congressman. I very rarely actually read about the manny. Yes Jamie thought about him when she was alone, and even when she was with her husband, but because we don't actually get to read that much about him, I didn't believe their chemistry was real.
Jamie immediately likes the look of Peter Bailey and gradually, his way with the kids and his personality draws Jamie in in further, but as she's married, she restricts herself from doing anything with him. To me, it happened suddenly when they both started to talk about getting together and her splitting up with her husband. I actually thought I missed some major chapters, but flicking back, I realised I hadn't. There is really nothing in the book that gives away Peter Bailey liking Jamie Whitfield, it's all one sided from Jamie's part which is probably why I never saw a spark between them.
One thing that I wasn't particularly keen on was the way Jamie's job was the focus of the story. Pretty much every chapter contained pages and pages of Jamie at work, and I was sat thinking "so where does the manny come into all of this?" I even found myself yawning at particular bits because her job was of no interest to me at all, I would've preferred to be reading about something to do with manny, after all, isn't that what it's supposed to be about?
However, given I have talked about the disadvantages to this book, there were afew things that kept me hooked. We are left guessing about a possible affair between Jamie's husband and one the other women on 'The Grid' which certainly provides some shock value to this book, and there are also afew other moments that will leave you gasping and putting your hand over your mouth, which I always enjoy reading. Also, when Jamie starts to discover her feelings for the manny, this is enjoyable to read as she is constantly questioning her loyalty towards her husband but the lust she feels for Peter is unstoppable. It is such a shame I didn't click with this book but when I read a book with more than one main character in it, I expect to know about the both of them, their ins and outs and their thoughts. But unfortunately, this book seems to skip those important aspects which is why there wasn't any umph between any of the characters, otherwise this book could've been an excellent debut novel.
I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this book as even the ending was abit of a dissapointment. I was hoping the ending might make up for the lack of real passion in the story, but it didn't. This book has a great story behind it and I just wish it could've been told in a more passionate and believeable way. Don't go out of your way to buy this book, but if you happen to see it on offer somewhere, then perhaps you could give it a go and see what you think, but I can't recommend this book i'm afraid.
Apparently this book might be made into a film adaptation some time in the near future.
You can buy this book from:
Hardcover - £7.00- + delivery or used and new from £2.99
Paperback - £3.49 + delivery
*Please note that on the amazon website, the synopsis reads slightly differently from the hardcover and the paperback, but they are the same book with the same characters I have mentioned here*
Destined to be the most talked about debut novel of 2007 First it was the Cosmopolitans. Then Manolos and the Birkin bag. Now the Manhattan working mums bring you the new must -have accessory; the Manny Jamie Whitfield is a rarity among the sleek and chic of 'The Grid' -- the exclusive blocks of the Upper East Side where it's all about keeping up with the Vanderbilts. She's a working mother, from the wrong side of the tracks and is never quite going to fit in, much to the dismay of her neurotic husband Jeffrey. But while he's worrying that they're the poor white trash of The Grid, struggling along on a mere two mill a year, Jamie is more concerned about juggling the demands of her job with the needs of her children. On the verge of breaking the story that could make her reporting career, and facing mutiny from her son, she hires a Manny -- a male nanny and the new 'must-have' accessory on The Grid. And Jason proves to be a life-saver in more ways than she could ever have imagined!