Review: ‘Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life’, by Nina Stibbe

Hello there!

Personal Sidenote: It’s been a little while since my last post – though not the longest silence this blog has seen! I hope you excuse the lack of posting. As I’ve said before, my resolution for the year is to write a post every time I finish a new book (more often if I do well), but I simply haven’t read a new-to-me book in a while! I’ve been quite stressed lately, and as such have preferred to return to old familiar fiction than delve into something new. Having a lot of emotions in my real life leaves less to spare for fictional characters sometimes. However, I am really pleased to have found my way back to reading new stuff, just by the chance of having picked up a book that made it really simple. I didn’t have to work to get into this book, or have too much spare self to invest in it.

Now to get to the review!

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe
Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

Love, Nina is one of the easiest books to read I’ve ever held. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way – quite the opposite in fact. It is simply very accessible. At a time when I needed something not too emotionally challenging, that I could read in bits and pieces on quiet evenings, it was precisely what I wanted. Composed of letters written by Nina Stibbe from London to her sister Victoria in Leicester while working as a nanny, it plays a magnificent trick of not being a rollercoaster – there aren’t big spikes of crisis or holding back for suspense – but simultaneously being incredibly readable. The voice of the author is genuine, funny and human.

I highly recommend this book as a fun read that may well make you laugh out loud occasionally, especially for the beauty and humour of many observations about family life. I am a big lover of letter-writing as a form, and I love the way Stibbe wrote frankly and funnily to her sister. The little moments where we are reminded that this is only one side of a conversation are pleasing moments of intrigue and mystery.

Love, Nina has been widely praised, and having read it I can see why. It is very funny, heart-warming, and a cheerful glimpse into certain aspects of growing up, personally and professionally. Personally, I was very amused by her experiences with yoga… which actually had me burst out in giggles, and required reading aloud to my husband to explain their source.

I hope you enjoyed this little review. If you’ve read Love, Nina let me know what you thought in the comments! I should be back soon with more things to review – I’ve got my fingers crossed for a good reading month!

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