After finishing Labor Day by Joyce Maynard I promised myself that the next book I read would be one of the many I have left from the BBC’s Big Read. At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to read fifteen from the list by the end of the year; thus far I’ve got through about six. Unfortunately, coming across Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe was too big a temptation to resist and consequently Far From the Madding Crowd still remains unread.
Set in London in the 1980s, Love, Nina is a collection of letters from Nina Stibbe to her sister Vic in Leicester. As nanny to the deputy editor of the London Review of Books, Mary Kay, and her two sons, Sam and William, the novel is a delightful portrayal of the banalities of family life.
Told with a warmth and witticism no doubt unbeknown to the author at the time of writing them, the letters are brilliantly observant and possess a certain magic that make Love, Nina such an utterly charming read.
Nina’s musings are the perfect example of the lost art of letter writing and will undoubtedly be treasured by not only Nina and those within the letters, but equally by all readers of this quite marvelous tale.