Monday, February 21, 2011

Minding Ben

Minding Ben by Victoria Brown
Reviewed by Moirae the Fates book reviews

The Nanny Diaries meets The Help in a riveting debut novel that follows an idealistic young woman as she leaves Trinidad for a new life in New York City---as a nanny.

Minding Ben invites readers into the private world of one of the anonymous West Indian babysitters who have peopled the lives of so many young urban families for decades. Grace left Trinidad for New York with hopes for a better life and education. As she struggles to adjust to her new life—and to determine just what shape her American Dream will take—Grace finds work as a nanny for the unconscionable Bruckners, a job that pays meager wages for its demanding and humiliating responsibilities.

At the mercy of her employers, and unprepared for the playground politics within the West Indian babysitting community, Grace nevertheless carries the day as she navigates the complicated world of America with strength and perseverance. Minding Ben offers a rarely seen account of the immigrant experience in this strong, compassionate, and insightful narrative. (Synopsis provided by goodreads)

The premise of this book interested me, however, for me it fell flat. I’m not sure what it is that is missing, but for me, something was missing. I found the characters to be on the shallow side, in some books it works, but for me, it didn’t work as well as it could have in this book.

I also felt that there were little tidbits of other characters that should have been developed further, it may have helped the book.

The book is written from Grace’s point of view, so that needs to be taken into account. So, maybe that is why the characters came across as see-through and selfish? But for me, what allowed me to finish the book was that while I didn’t enjoy it, the book was well written.
Please don’t just take my opinion, if you are interested in the book, please read it or seek other reviews that are more favorable.

Overall rating
** ½   2 ½ out of 5 stars

Cover art:
I like the cover art, very cute.

I was sent a copy for review by the publisher.

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