Advance reader reviews of Minding Ben by Victoria Brown.

Minding Ben

A Novel

By Victoria Brown

Minding Ben
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Apr 2011,
    352 pages.

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There are currently 47 member reviews
for Minding Ben
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  • Anita P. (Lutherville, MD); Play Book Tag admin

    Minding Ben
    This story of an immigrant's experience in NYC is told in a well executed first person voice -- and the strength of this voice held my interest. However, the author tries to do too much. There are too many shallowly drawn characters. The three Jewish characters (the Bruckners and the landlord) are portrayed in the most negative light with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Unfortunately, the overall impact is unsatisfying. There's a good book in here somewhere, but I don't think this one fully realized its potential.
  • Joan V. (Miller Place, NY)

    Don't call her
    A very satisfying read. The story revolves around 16 yr old Grace who comes to America by herself and is thrown into a situation she has not planned on. The plan was for Grace to mind her cousin’s children in exchange for room & board, but her cousin never shows up at the airport to meet her. Instead Grace eventually ends up with a family in NYC minding Ben. How she survives and her “adventures” (as she refers to them) is a fascinating story. The book is a fast read, one that you get into immediately and don’t want to put down. You just HAVE to learn what happens next!

    Some of the characters are a bit stereotypical, i.e. the Bruckners, Ben’s parents; Sol and Miriam are sometimes a bit too much. However, we do get to see shades of Miriam’s past and that helps to make her more likable.

    A good book club choice; it has a lot of points that would be ripe for an interesting discussion. I really want to read more novels by Ms. Brown.
  • Jane H. (Owensboro, KY)

    Minding Ben
    I guess giving this book a 3 rating sounds worse than the book actually was. It was an entertaining story and fairly well written but just an average story about being an immigrant "nanny" in New York City. I found the main character a bit too refined to be believable considering the cast of characters around her and as a result I never quite fell into the spell of what a really good story can do for you. All of the characters were too stereotypical and shallow -- the storyline too predictable. I was disappointed as I felt the premise of this book promised much more depth than it delivered.
  • Loren B. (Appleton, WI)

    an eyeopener
    Some of the characters needed to be fleshed out a bit and the plot needed to be more organized, But this was an eyeopener of a story and I came to admire Grace very much for how well she held up.
  • Bess W. (Marlton, US)

    A story of survival
    I loved the book. The author uses her personal experience to create unforgettable characters. I couldn't put the book down, I just wanted to know how Grace was coping with her emotional journey and how she would survive. Making a life in New York is not easy for anyone especially a 16 year old. Even with all her ups and downs Grace still believes. I can't wait for Victoria Brown's next book. This is a perfect choice for book clubs--there are so many social issues to discuss.
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