Although this is Dawn French’s third book, it’s the first time I’ve entered the quirky world of her storytelling and I can tell you straight out, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
The story starts with Rosie; an eccentric primary school teacher from England, who decides to have a fresh start in the wonderful, elaborate and secretive Upper East Side in Manhattan.
Rosie enters the Wilder-Bingham household and brings a new lease of life to a family that has spent many years living under the strict rules of Glenn, the lady of the house. Hired as the nanny, it’s Rosie’s job to keep Glenn’s grandsons entertained for the summer but as the book progresses, we realise Rosie goes above and beyond her job description…making sure all the boys in the family are kept happy…!
From reading the first chapter, you might foolishly think that this is a typical fictional feel good book that would usually slot in the chick flick category. Indeed that may be the case, but it outranks the mundaneness of the usual plots we tend to see and Dawn tests the boundaries of this genre with her outrageously funny storytelling way.
We’re introduced into the complex world of a wealthy family, with a law firm to their name and poor Kemble who just can’t live up to his mother’s expectations. Father; Thomas, is less phased by Kemble’s inabilities and more concerned by his old age and the influx of funerals in his diary. Meanwhile Kemble’s three sons; Teddy and his two much younger twin brothers: Red and Three (I’ll let you read the book to work out those nicknames!!), are crying out for Kemble’s attention.
Each of the characters’ personalities unravel through the book; whether that’s by the effect of Rosie or the natural progression of the book, and by the end of the book, there’s this beautiful air of clarity hinting that everyone has found happiness even if it wasn’t on the most direct route! Whether this happiness was due to letting your imagination run wild, taking a chill pill or embracing life; this book reminds you to stop taking life so seriously…. because in the end it always turns out alright!
Without giving away any spoilers, I really enjoyed the rather bonkers plot… it made me chuckle, it raised my eyebrows and it definitely left me wanting to read Dawn’s first two books, to determine if they are just as refreshing and outrageously funny!
Until next time, Chloé x
P.S. Finally got around to reading The Girl On The Train….and ironically I did read it whilst on the train….! The jury is out on this one. The ending? Every character messed up? Hmmm.