According to Yes by Dawn French
Dawn French, aka comedienne extraordinaire, is enjoying some success with novel writing and this, her third novel is a light, entertaining read. It’s a little bit chick-lit and a little bit comedic. The main character, Rosie Kitto, is a frustrated (and a little bit bored) teacher who leaves her partner and teaching job in England to travel to New York where she lands a job as nanny to a stereotypical Manhattan NY ultra-rich, yet highly dysfunctional, family. Rosie’s new life motto is to say yes to anything and that lands her in a lot of trouble.
The book is full of clichéd characters but I still found it entertaining. I could hear Dawn French’s perfectly-timed comedy delivery throughout which probably helped. I think if it were not for the witty writing, this book might have failed to deliver. The plot is somewhat unbelievable and absurd and the characters are flawed and largely unlikable. You even start to dislike poor old Rosie in the end. The star character is the Polish housekeeper who quietly observes the demise of this family. And the plot is enhanced by the inevitable clash of a boisterous English nanny with the stiff, upper lip NY matriarch who finds her newest staff member brash and just a little bit vulgar. The men of the house, and everyone else male, find her rather alluring.
This is a quick, light read that is funny, even if a little contrived. But, I think all comedy is contrived, the trick is to make it seem uncontrived. And for the most part, French does that.
REVIEWER: Gillian Whalley Torckler
TITLE: According to Yes
AUTHOR(S): Dawn French
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House