Ruth Ware is back! The author of Woman in Cabin 10 and The Death of Mrs Westaway is back with a nanny-centric ghost story that reminded me a lot of Liz Nugent. I’ve only read two of Ware’s books before, the two I mentioned, but I’ve heard great thing and this one definitely drew me in! A bit of a slow start, and tbh, I wasn’t totally satisfied by the ending but I enjoyed the book overall!
Rowan feels very very lucky when she discovers an advert to nanny for the Elincourts, a wealthy family in Scotland who is willing to pay big money. She lands the job, that’s all you need to know, but quickly, things get out of hand. Less than day into the gig, she’s left alone to nanny the three young kids and a teenager who comes and goes, but with a “smart house” with lots of cameras and a creaking noise upstairs, it’s hard for Rowan to feel…settled. Thrown in mysterious rumors about the house and it’s history, kids who have had four nannies in the span of a few years, and a handsome handyman and you’ve got quite the story to unfold.
First off, it’s important to understand that this book is written in a semi-epistolary way as Rowan writes from prison where she’s held on murder charges. But who is dead? And who does Rowan think did it? and what does Rowan herself have to hide? It all unfolds, a little slow at first, but towards a not that surprising but still interesting end.
Overall, I was super compelled by this. Part oh-no-the-nanny story, part-ghost story, lots of “what the heck” with the smart-house situation. It felt very old-timey but modern at the same time, and I loved how place-based it was. I read this shortly after reading Lock Every Door, so you could say I was in the mood. While the book is far from perfect pacing wise, I was still intrigued by the set-up.