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In Good Company


In Good Company

Millie Longfellow, like Anne Shirley, is an orphan. And like Anne, she has a love of the English language. However, she has a significant problem with remembering definitions. So she carries her trusty dictionary around in her apron pocket. This helps her in situations when she says “disintegrated” instead of “disenchanted,” or when an employer informs Millie that she has allowed her charges (the woman’s children) to behave in an “execrable” way. If Millie doesn’t know what a word means, she does need to look it up, right? Millie thinks that this is the epitome of common sense, as is letting children run, play and get dirty from time to time. Unfortunately, her employers rarely agree, resulting in periods of employment that are rather short, despite the adoration the children always have for Millie and her excellent child management skills.

Society favorite Everett Mulberry is looking for a good nanny who’s even-tempered, longsuffering and difficult to irritate. He has inherited three young children upon the death of his dearest friend. Alas, while Everett is quite successful in business and in the top tiers of New York’s elite society circles, he is completely at a loss when it comes to raising children --- especially children who have lost their parents and he doesn’t actually know all that well. His solution is to pass them off to a rapidly growing number of nannies, all of whom seem to have the habit of handing in their resignations after a few weeks, days or even hours with the kids.

"Jen Turano’s books always bring a smile to my face, and IN GOOD COMPANY is no exception. Her characters and stories are captivating and fun."

Calculating Miss Caroline Dixon, the elegant woman Everett has determined will be the perfect wife for him, has an alternate solution. She is convinced that the only way she (er…Everett and the children) will be happy is if the three siblings are sent away to boarding school. That will free her of the aggravation and bother of having to deal daily with children who aren’t even her own --- and who, by the way, politely detest her. 

Upon the unexpected departure of Everett’s latest nanny and Millie’s most recent dismissal, the two literally collide outside the employment agency. Due to mutual friends, the two have met before. While Everett admires Millie’s fine eyes, he’s quite sure (due to the rather exuberant stories he’s heard about her nannying) that she is the very last person who should care for his new wards. Millie herself finds Everett fascinating, yet she’s rather put off by the way he rejects her as an appropriate governess for the “brats,” as he affectionately calls them.

Despite the misgivings both have about the other, Millie is indeed hired to care for Elizabeth, Thaddeus and Rose. And immediately, the three put Millie to the test. To their surprise, she’s quite familiar with the tricks they try to play on her, and she has a few surprises up her sleeve for them. Yet as Millie and the children form an understanding and even a friendship, Caroline discovers that she is not at all fond of such a lovely young woman working right under Everett’s nose. And she is quite willing to do everything she can to sabotage Millie’s job, all to get her away from the man she considers the perfect society husband-to-be.

The summer they all spend at Newport proves to be an illuminating one for both the children and the adults (some of whom definitely behave like children at times). Will Everett allow the rules of society to dictate his future happiness…or determine what might be his extreme unhappiness? Will Millie ever not be fired from a nannying job? And what about the suspicious circumstances of the deaths of the children’s parents? Will that mystery be uncovered?

Jen Turano’s books always bring a smile to my face, and IN GOOD COMPANY is no exception. Her characters and stories are captivating and fun. Millie Longfellow’s engaging adventure, with all its unexpected ups and downs, will charm your heart as you cheer her on to victory (and then you’ll want to read all of Turano’s previous books!). Be sure to find yourself a copy.

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on June 22, 2015

In Good Company
by Jen Turano