• Love, Nina

  • Despatches from Family Life
  • By: Nina Stibbe
  • Narrated by: Nina Stibbe
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 11-07-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (38 ratings)

Regular price: $21.32

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Publisher's Summary

In the 1980s, Nina Stibbe wrote letters home to her sister in Leicester describing her trials and triumphs as a nanny to a London family.
There’s a cat nobody likes, a visiting dog called Ted Hughes (Ted for short) and suppertime visits from a local playwright. Not to mention the two boys, their favourite football teams, and rude words, a very broad-minded mother and assorted nice chairs.
From the mystery of the unpaid milk bill and the avoidance of nuclear war to mealtime discussions on pie filler, the greats of English literature, swearing in German and sexually transmitted diseases, Love, Nina is a wonderful celebration of bad food, good company and the relative merits of Thomas Hardy and Enid Blyton.
At the age of 20, Nina Stibbe moved from Leicestershire to London to become a nanny. Later she studied at Thames Polytechnic and worked in publishing. She now lives in Cornwall with her partner and children.
©2013 Nina Stibbe (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited
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Critic Reviews

“I adored this book, and I could quote from it forever. It’s real, odd, life-affirming, sharp, loving, and contains more than one reference to Arsenal FC” (Nick Hornby, The Believer)
"Adrian Mole meets Mary Poppins mashed up in literary north London... Enormous fun” ( Bookseller)
“What a beady eye she has for domestic life, and how deliciously fresh and funny she is” (Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
“Despatches from Family Life is the laugh-out-loud story of the trials and tribulations of a very particular family. Breezy, sophisticated, hilarious, rude and aching with sweetness; Love, Nina might be the most charming book I’ve ever read” (Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette)
“Nina Stibbe is the funniest new writer to arrive in years. Love, Nina is her first book - a memoir so warm, so witty and so wise, it’s like finding the friend you always deserved” (Andrew O, Hagan)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Toby on 11-11-13

An hilarious and joyful look into an era

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have already told my friends about this book - and even Twitter. It ws witty, charming and hilarious. I wish it had been longer.

What other book might you compare Love, Nina to and why?

A grown-up female Adrian Mole, perhaps. Or maybe early Nick Hornby.`

What does Nina Stibbe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nina Stibbe read her book and she was excellent. One knew where the emphasis was meant to be. Her sense of timing was superb. I felt as if I were in the same room as Nina.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I do not compare novels to films and do not watch Hollywood films.

Any additional comments?

The pacing, brevity of the sentences, incredible detail and humour made this book one I will most definitely listen to again. I couldn't get enough. I loved the literary scene and references to literature. Rare these days, but most welcome.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mitzi on 05-28-15

Brilliant, Funny, Refreshingly Original

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?


Any additional comments?

Applause! Applause! Applause! Absolutely brilliant! I am amazed at the narrative quality of these letters, considering that they were written when Nina Stibbe was still very young! These are the work of a born writer, someone who has a brilliant sense of character construction, story manipulation and scene staging… Fantastic.

The way in which Nina describes her London life as a bay-sitter and undergraduate (i.e., her coming of age story at the right place surrounded by just the right people) in her correspondence with her sister is engaging, hilarious, clever, astonishingly original.

I'm usually against writers (yes, including poets) reading their own material: but this is a fortunate exception. This is due to the nature of an epistolary memoir: I believe that only the actual author of those letters(reproduced without any contextual addition) knows the intention or spirit with which each was written, and therefore only the writer behind the correspondence can correctly render the emotions the girl was trying to communicate (often through irony) to her sister. I think that an actor/narrator might have easily misinterpreted many passages (mistaking irony for brattishness, or vice versa, for example), because it is hard to guess the emotional context of each missive when this context is not explicitly provided by the text (unlike conventional novels and memoirs). For this reason, I suspect, this book is particularly effective in its audible version, and I would probably appreciate it less in its print edition… Although I am going to try it too.

I would highly recommend this audiobook to everyone I know.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Saffy on 11-24-13

A heartwarming and hilarious listen

This is one of those books that I did not want to end. I want to buy it for all of my friends and would happily listen to it all over again. I feel bereft now I no longer have Nina Stibbe and the cast of characters from Gloucester Crescent in my life. These letters written to her sister Vic over a 5 year period in the 1980s are written and narrated in a very understated but incredibly heartwarming and funny style. Nina writes perfectly about the minutiae of daily domestic life and portrays the characters who live on or pass through Gloucester Crescent in a warm, funny, but never unkind way. I felt as though I were listening to letters from a friend. I loved the literary references which again, were so understated and Nina never becomes starstruck by any of the famous people she meets from the arts and literary world.
An absolute joy!

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Philip on 08-18-14

Haven't laughed so much for years...

Any additional comments?

I loved this book. Nina's innocence and lack of any pretension in the auspicious literary company in which she daily finds herself makes for a beautifully dry, hilarious style. Listened to it again straight away. Very highly recommended.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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