Review of The Little Things by Jane Costello

Published: 26th March 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 124


At twenty-eight, Hannah MacFarlane’s career is on course to smash the glass ceiling and beat it into submission. Then a shock company reshuffle leaves her sacked and bewildered, while her fiancé is promoted into a job nearly 5,000 miles away in Dubai. Five months later, she is jobless, broke and worryingly addicted to Loose Women. Then her older sister Suzy intervenes after her child minder left them in the lurch and offers Hannah the job of looking after her FOUR young children. Hannah has no other option but to accept. But while she was great at playing ‘Cool Auntie’, she soon discovers – with riotous consequences – that she is no Mary Poppins…


When I heard that Jane was releasing a short story before her new novel – I purchased it on my Kindle the day of release and as I’ve been in a reading slump recently, I just wanted something quick, fun and easy to read and I found just that!

“I’ve come to the conclusion that he should’ve been sorted into Slytherin at birth.”

Hannah has reason to believe she’s being promoted when in reality, it’s far from the truth. After her day doesn’t go according to play, the plot fast forwards five months. Normally, I wouldn’t like that – I would usually like to see how the person copes between leaving work and fixing their life again but Jane made it work very well.

Hannah’s other half is living it up in Dubai (clearly he didn’t stick around for moral support), while she is moping on the couch wondering whether 9am is a suitable time to open a bottle of wine or not. The couple still kept in touch and despite the four hour difference and being 3396 miles apart (I did my research), the texts came through straight away – how very realistic..

“Max’s version of Katy Perry’s Roar might be about as in tune as a flushing toilet…”

When Hannah’s sister offers her the chance to earn some money whilst being with the children, she doesn’t exactly jump at the chance but at least she’s doing something and spending  time with the little ones. I absolutely loved this part of the narrative – it was unbelievably funny and Jane writes children extremely well.

It really is the little things (no pun intended) that made the nanny job very enjoyable; taking the children to karate, throwing sausage rolls and making school projects until silly am. It’s the life of a nanny and an aunty all thrown into one. I especially loved the little boy – Oliver and the fact that Hannah took him to soft play as that’s what I’ve done recently with my own nephew who happens to have the same name!

There’s no denying that Hannah is Jane’s best character so far. The chemistry between her and the very attractive Michael was undeniable and if they didn’t get together – I could have thrown my Kindle across the room. I wouldn’t but I could of..  It’s a fun, short, sweet, dramatic and very well written narrative and if you’re ever in a reading slump – just read this!

Twitter: @janecostello