Scary novel or story ('70's era) about a nanny

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Scary novel or story ('70's era) about a nanny

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Dez 21, 2016, 9:30pm

Trying to help a friend locate this:

I read a book in the 70's about a nanny who had a battered suitcase with lots of stickers on it, which rang a bell with her employer but she couldn't think why; at first the new mum was really happy with the nanny, but then things started to get weird, and nobody believed her as they assumed she was suffering from PND. Turned out the nanny had been in the same maternity ward the new mum (that's why mum recognised the suitcase); she wouldn't believe her baby was stillborn and thought staff had given it to the (more wealthy) mum, so she tracked her down and took a job as her nanny so she could try to get "her" baby back.

Dez 22, 2016, 5:14am

This sounds like The hours before dawn by Celia Fremlin. The descriptions of life as a stressed new mum were very vivid and the lack of sleep is a large part of what causes the woman to doubt her suspicions of the nanny. As I recall, the nanny had tried the same thing with other women too.

Dez 22, 2016, 8:46am

Sakerfalcon, thank you! I will share this with her, and will report back if it is the one. In the meantime, she shared this additional information, after I asked her if it might be a short story:

I'm almost sure it was a novel as it took a while for the suspense to build and for the reader to realise something sinister was going on. It could've been later than the 70's but I went through a phase of reading horror stories on the train on my way to work in London around that time so I assumed it was then. The same author did publish a book of short stories - the most memorable was about a man who had a nightmare every night that he was walking down a long corridor towards a cradle - I won't spoil the ending this time! She also wrote a book about a girl who was terrified of a large portrait hanging in her grandparent's/uncle's mansion. I won't give away the rest of it, but it was gripping! I seem to remember she had a name with an initial - I've searched all Dorothy L Sayers' books for this reason, but it wasn't her. Let's hope this jogs somebody's memory!

Dez 22, 2016, 3:29pm

That WAS the book - thank you so much!

Fev 28, 2017, 8:33am

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