In ALL the TIME in the World (HenryHolt&Co.) by Caroline Angell, Charlotte is a classically trained composer who has chosen to take a babysitting job for a wealthy Manhattan family in order to “clear her head,” after being betrayed by a colleague. At first, its supposed to be temporary, but Charlotte realizes she’s good at her job and she enjoys the McLean family. Two years after working for them, tragedy strikes and the wife/mother, Gretchen is killed by a taxi cab, leaving the father, Scotty alone with two little boys, five-year old Matt, and 2-year old George.
“I didn’t try to be her, but somehow I lost me. And Scotty let me do it because he’s in pain, and I was there. I didn’t really have a choice, when it started.” Charlotte, ALL THE TIME in the WORLD
Charlotte’s personal life is left behind as she steps in to care for Matt and George full-time. After a brief conversation with Scotty, she moves in and is soon handling the kids’ behavior problems at school, sessions with the psychologist and planning birthday parties.
Charlotte tries to keep one foot in her personal world, by keeping her own apartment, although she’s rarely there, but friends and family witness her losing her sense-of-self to a family that is truly not hers. Charlotte believes she’s doing the right thing, but after Scotty leaves her with the kids for an extended European business trip, she finally realizes, they may have crossed the line.
It’s hard to read and believe ALL the TIME in the WORLD is Caroline’s debut novel. She is able to alternate between the past and present smoothly, and smoothly juggles the well-developed and identifiable character’s perspectives. I respect Charlotte’s loyalty and concern for the family, especially the young boys, believing I’d do the same thing. Scotty and the entire family were fortunate to have Charlotte step up and be the adult in the end.
For All things Caroline, check out her website http://www.carolineangell.com or twitter @carejaneangell I look forward to Caroline Angell’s next novel.
Thanks to Caroline’s publicists, Anna and Leyane, we’re lucky to have one copy of Caroline’s novel, ALL the TIME in the WORLD to giveaway. Just tell us if you’ve ever had to step in and be the strong one in a difficult situation and what your experience was. We’ll pick a winner Monday.