Advance reader reviews of Minding Ben by Victoria Brown.

Minding Ben

A Novel

By Victoria Brown

Minding Ben
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Apr 2011,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

Page 4 of 7
There are currently 47 member reviews
for Minding Ben
Order Reviews by:
  • Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL)

    Minding Ben by Victoria Brown
    Customs, dreams, losses and relationships make this book a very good choice for book groups. At 16 Grace finds her way into a life she would have never imagined when arriving in NY from Trinidad She becomes a nanny to Ben who much to his mother's consternation, loves Grace unconditionally. Themes of friendship, family and pretending to be what one is not are woven throughout the book, making it a very emotional read
  • Marsha S. (Nags Head, NC)

    Minding Ben
    When I read something comparing this book to "The Help", I was skeptical and fully prepared to be disappointed. After only a few pages, the skepticism was put aside and I became immersed in Grace's story. Her tale of the trials she endured as an immigrant in this country are told in a very personal way, making her character come alive. The use of vernacular and dialect makes all the characters and events real and believable. While Grace's inability to remove herself from her situation with the Bruckners was at times frustrating, her poise and equanimity makes her a sympathetic figure and I felt she would triumph in the end. I'm ready for the sequel!
  • Kathy S. (Danbury, CT)

    I so did not like this book. The characters were not well developed and the story line did not hold my attention. Every time the book started to get interesting, the author would drop that story line and begin another. I especially did not like how the book ended ... very abruptly and with many loose ends.
  • Lucy B. (Urbana, Ohio)

    Coming to America
    The prologue was about a sixteen-year-old girl coming to America and then not being met by her cousin at the airport. The first chapter was a year or so later and it was hard for me to try to understand how she fit in with the characters at this point. The rest of the story was told well and I felt sorry for how she was treated by her employers.
  • Shelby L. (Hamden, CT)

    Many better books to read
    This is a light, better than "beach read" book but the story felt familiar and predictable, as if I already knew the immigrant Nanny experience from what I've read in the news or seen on TV. The characters are real, although stereotypical in many instances, evil Jewish landlord, gangster Island acquaintances, neurotic employer, and on and on.
    If your reading time is limited try something else.
  • Bea C. (Liberty Lake, WA)

    There but for the Grace.....
    The author, like the main character, Grace, experienced immigrating to the US from Trinidad and working as a nanny, which she calls a "baby sitter". Grace finds employment, but it seems to be a hopeless, go nowhere situation, with no chance of saving enough money to better herself and almost a slave to an unfeeling, power hungry employer. The book touched on the problems of getting a green card, disappointment in what immigrants find in America and homesickness for their homeland while trying to make the U.S. their new home. Not an exciting plot, but interesting enough to keep reading until the end. Anyone who feels discouraged about their own set of circumstances will feel a little luckier about their life after reading what these people go through.
  • Barbara F. (Santa Rosa, CA)

    Minding Ben
    I would recommend this book without reservation. The narrative is compelling and draws the reader into the frustration, unfairness and sometimes the small joys of the illegal immigrant life in New York City. I was often unsure of whether I was reading a memoir or a novel. I think this confusion stems from a lack of story line or plot. It is, at times, an uncomfortable read because the reader does not want to be associated in any way with the thoughtlessness and selfishness the heroine has to deal with. The ending adds to the confusion between memoir and novel but that doesn't spoil the read. It would be a good Book Club read.
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse


Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.