This is a New York state of mind novel, very much in love with its own kinkiness. With a central character both quirky and loathsome, any hopes of identification are quickly dashed. Not that it matters. The book is nicely written, and very dark and sexy in places, like a Leonard Cohen song in a second-hand designer dress.
"One Booker shortlist later, Galley Beggar were proved correct. Ellmann’s novel isn’t perfect, and it may not take the prize, but in a world where Ian McEwan is still at large, something introspective and richly painted is a tonic for us all...."
— The Daily Telegraph
4.25 out of 5
Here's another Ella, also an aimless millennial, but, this time, a nastily impoverished one barely scraping a living in New York. Somehow, she lands a job as nanny to a wealthy Upper East Side couple and is quickly sucked into their life of gilded decadence, secretly privy to Lonnie’s affair with her husband’s best friend and to Lonnie’s private thoughts, written in a journal she hides, oddly, in the freezer...Yet, while this well-written debut has the pulse of a slow-burning thriller, it’s really a claustrophobic study in class and inequality, although you might feel its conclusions — that those born at the bottom will always be on the outside — are hardly a revelation.