Thursday, July 2, 2015

In Good Company by Jen Turano #BookReview

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
Last week during my garage sale, the mailman came to the door with several packages and one of them was the new book by Jen Turano - In Good Company. I started to read the book during a lull in the sale and was hooked immediately. I found myself picking it up when I had a few minutes between people stopping at the sale. There was just something so compelling the story that Jen Turano was telling. It wasn't one of those books where you needed to read a few chapters to get started, I was drawn in before I finished reading the first chapter and it just kept pulling me along.
The book In Good Company is set in 1882 in New York City and Newport. The first chapter of the story introduces us to Millie Longfellow, a young lady that is determined to be the best nanny but seemingly has found herself in a bit of trouble and being dismissed from her job, again. When Everett Mulberry finds himself in need of care for the three children that he has been given guardianship of because yet another nanny has quit, the agency pairs them them each one last chance, each other.

Millie has a way with the children and though her methods are called into question, she proves that she knows what she is doing when she able to find a way to get the children to not only cooperate but to begin to be the children that Everett remembers from visiting them at their home. As Everett spends more time with Millie and around the children, his perspective on what matters most evolves.

The author did a wonderful job bringing the loveable (and not so loveable) characters to life in the story. As a reader, I was compelled to continue reading (just one more page) to find out what would happen to them next, so much so that I was almost late to work one morning because I wanted to read just one chapter before heading out for the day and found myself four pages into the next before I forced myself to put the book down. We learn bits of their past to gain insight, but the story remains focused on their interactions and conversations.

This was a well written piece of period fiction. I enjoyed the references to Jane Austen and the parallels that they drew. I was amused by Millie's continued referencing of her dictionary and her attempt to insert 'big' words into her conversations. I am currently reading Anne of Green Gables with my daughter, and Millie's use of words reminded me a lot of Anne.

I found out after reading the book that it is actually the second in a series (clearly, nothing lost by reading them out of order - as I thoroughly enjoyed this book on its own). I look forward to reading the first book in the series, as well as other books by this author. In reading about her, I learned that she went to school very close to where I live. She doesn't live here now, but it is still a connection.

From the book cover:
After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren't always well-received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position.

Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he's desperate for competent childcare.

At wit's end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance--with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children's parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?

You can learn more about the author and her other books on her website.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.