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Book Review

We’ve reviewed a few books for Secret Truro and we’ve rounded them up here. Perfect for reading on the beach or cosying up by the fire.

Love Nina - Nina Stibbe

Amanda Williams

Local Author, Nina Stibbe, has had much acclaim for her memoirs as a nanny in 80s North London.  Banish all thoughts of nannies in starched uniforms dispensing syrup of figs to their charges; Nina was more likely to burn the toast, wonder what to do with turkey mince and let the boys play in skips.  ‘Love Nina’ has not only become a best-seller but has also been adapted for television by Nick Hornby.  The show, starring Helena Bonham-Carter and Jason Watkins will be screened on BBC in the Spring.  Exciting times ahead for Nina!

I don’t know about you, but hasn’t the BBC been producing some brilliant drama recently!  We’ve been thoroughly spoilt with Poldark, War & Peace, The Night Manager and Undercover (Yep, I was confused too…) The on point programming continues tonight at 9.30 on BBC One with a 5 part mini-series based on best seller ‘Love Nina’ by local author Nina Stibbe. Top job Aunty Beeb!

When Nina, who originally hails from Leicester wrote a series of letters home to her sister, Vic, about her new life in London as nanny to the editor of ‘The London Review of Books’, Mary Kay Wilmers, she can hardly have expected to be getting rave reviews and a TV adaptation by Nick Hornby 30 years later.

The line up for Hornby’s adaptation is impressive.  Helena Bonham-Carter (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables to name just a couple) leads the way with her portrayal of North London working Mum, George,  who employs Nina.  Jason Watkins (W1A, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies) plays next door neighbour and playwright Malcolm Tanner (yes….names have been changed) and Faye Marsey (Game of Thrones) plays a barefoot Nina who we’ll meet navigating her way through life in 80s Gloucester Crescent amongst the literary set.

I recently caught up with Nina, who now lives in Truro, for a quick chat:

How are you feeling about seeing yourself portrayed onTV?

It’s slightly surreal, but lovely. Faye Marsay is so good and has somehow captures the essence of me back then.

Can you tell us about any ‘pinch-me’ moments you’ve had since ‘Love Nina’ was published?

There was the Vogue photo shoot with Helena Bonham-Carter. And seeing my daughter shooting scenes as an extra in the TV show. (NB: Check out HB-C’s shoes in the Vogue piece – Amanda)

What are your favourite places in Truro?

I’m all about dog-friendly!  I like 108 Coffee and The Thomas Daniel. I also like Mannings (and was thrilled to see their brilliant review by Jay Rayner in the Observer last week), although they’re not dog-friendly.