Review of "A Good Nanny," short story by Barbara House

Maude Barrow smokes too much, drinks Wild Turkey, and desperately needs a job. When she sees a classified ad for a nanny in the wealthy Munford home, she fakes her resume and references, lies her way into the position, and seems to have it made. . . until they ask her to sign a contract with a mysterious, ominous clause.

This story is fun though not exactly subtle.  House does an excellent job creating a likable antihero with the nanny.  Sure, the nanny lied a little on her resume.  But it was all for the noble cause of personal comfort!  On some level, we can all relate to that.

And so our intrepid nanny gets hired by a too-good-to-be-true family to watch the children.  It's at this point that the hints start to cut in like a butter knife.  There is the ominous clause in the contract (which I won't state here but suffice to say once you read it, you have a pretty good idea as to what's up with the kids).  The ominous clause is repeated multiple times coupled with scenes witnessed by the nanny that will only support your suspicions on how the story is going to end.

Suffice to say that when said end arrives it's no shock.  So many blatant hints and suggestions have been made that what should have been an Edgar Allen Poe horror ending turns out being just a, "Yep, I guessed that."

That said, House is actually a good writer.  This story is engaging and House is quite skilled at adding details that make the characters seem real.   Everything plays out in your head like a stage play.  So all the elements for a good short story are there.  I just wish there had been less "telling" and more "showing."

But definitely worth a read if you like fun stories with a twisted ending.  

3/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Buy this story on Amazon.


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