The author has done a good job of bringing the character of Grace alive as well as the others. I did find the book somewhat repetitive in terms of the story line. The subject matter was very compelling as I love stories about the immigrant experience. This was not the best book I have read in the past 6 months but it is worth reading if you liked "The Help".
Rated of 5
by Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
A look into the life of an undocumented immigrant and the nanny community she moves into in New York. Grace is just trying to get by in her new country and take good care of her charge Ben. Ben's parents take advantage of the situation, promising to file immigration paperwork if she "works out" as Ben's nanny. Their blackmail like tactics give Grace hope while forcing her into more and more additional duties. We meet Grace's nanny friends who also are going through similar circumstances. I did enjoy the book however parts of it were familiar and reminded me of Nanny Diaries in the Trinidadian community.
Rated of 5
by Beverly J. (Huntersville, NC)
When I read the synopsis of Minding Ben and the bio of the author, two things immediately came to mind – Jamaica Kincaid, as her bio reads like Victoria Brown’s and Substitute Me by Lori Tharps, a book I read this summer regarding the nanny experience in NYC. So I anxiously waited for Minding Ben to arrive in the mail as I hoping for an updated story of the Caribbean nanny experience which Jamaica Kincaid brilliantly wrote about in her book, Lucy, and to take what Lori Tharps did with a middle class black nanny in Brooklyn and add the Caribbean spin to her storyline. At the end of the story I was disappointed with the overall approach to the story. I thought the author did an excellent job of showing the frustration, pain, and the abuse an undocumented worker seeking a nanny position has to endure. I also appreciated the peek into the Caribbean world of nannies what binds them and what separates. Many readers had an issue with the dialect, but I did not. I appreciated how the author portrayed the Caribbean women as one to their employers and how among themselves they appreciate their diversity by island, and this is both a common bond and a source of conflict. The author explores the conflict between the Jewish and Caribbean population in Brooklyn, but this aspect was just too stereotyped to me and did not explore the depth of this relationship. Also, there were secondary themes that were introduced that if further explored would have made a more rounded story, but just left me frustrated. I think the book would have been better served to explore just one or two of themes presented more fully instead of just giving the reader a taste of many. With that said, I do look forward to reading future work by Victoria Brown as she has the potential to be an excellent writer.
Rated of 5
by Marion T. (Palatine, IL)
The story though interesting is familiar and predictable. A bit stereotypical in regards to all the secondary characters. Similar to the "Nanny Diaries" with a bit of "The Help". The main character, however, is well developed and I did want to know more about her, where she cameo from-where she was going. Not bad for a first novel.
Rated of 5
by 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.
Kenn Nesbitt is new Children's Poet Laureate(Jun 12 2013) Kenn Nesbitt has been named the new Children's Poet Laureate: Consultant in Children's Poetry to the Poetry Foundation, which noted that the two-year position...