Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Minding Ben by Victoria Brown

Goodreads: Set in the lead-up to the racially turbulent summer of 1991 and Brooklyn's Crown Heights riots, this troubling and touching novel chronicles 18-year-old Grace's move from Trinidad to New York City in search of work and new opportunities, but her Sunday-through-Friday life as a live-in nanny is all the more stark when set against her weekends with a dirt-poor family that needs her just as surely as her demanding employers. Cinderella's wicked step-family have nothing on married-into-money Miriam, who runs Grace ragged with selfish demands, or haggard, penny-pinching Sylvia, stuck in a wretched apartment back in Brooklyn with three kids and unemployed baby-daddy Bo. Everyone shares desperation: Grace for a green card, Sylvia for a future, Miriam for acceptance.

Kritters Thoughts: A good read, but I sit on the fence as to how much I truly liked it. A story about a nanny in Manhattan who is originally from Trinidad and her struggle to find her place. I loved the cast of characters that surrounded Grace, but I am torn as to whether I liked her. I felt at times that her character didn't truly act her age and at times it was unclear as to what age she truly was. Beyond that - the family she worked for became a clear picture in my mind and I found the other nannies that became her friends were unique yet similar.

There is one thing in particular that on a personal level, I didn't enjoy. When the nannies all joined at the park, they would fall into their authentic accents. While I find it interesting, it was hard to read. I may have lost a few things because sometimes I just couldn't get it.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Pages: 352

Cover Challenge April-June: Tried and New

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