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Extended Audio Sample Minding Ben: A Novel Audiobook, by Victoria Brown Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (18 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Victoria Brown Narrator: Joyce Bean Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9781452671062
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Minding Ben invites listeners into the private world of one of the anonymous West Indian babysitters who have peopled the lives of so many young urban families for decades. Grace left Trinidad for New York with hopes for a better life and education. As she struggles to adjust to her new life—and to determine just what shape her American Dream will take—Grace finds work as a nanny for the unconscionable Bruckners, a job that pays meager wages for its demanding and humiliating responsibilities.

At the mercy of her employers, and unprepared for the playground politics within the West Indian babysitting community, Grace nevertheless carries the day as she navigates the complicated world of America with strength and perseverance. Minding Ben offers a rarely seen account of the immigrant experience in this strong, compassionate, and insightful narrative.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brittany | 2/19/2014

    " A fantastic and insightful story that takes a deep look into the life of Caribbean immigrants who are forced into hard labor for little pay. Very well told, Minding Ben is a well-crafted tale of a Trinidadian teenager who comes to America for opportunities and instead finds misfortune, malevolence, dishonesty, distrust, and a beacon of hope. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josie | 2/15/2014

    " "I was thinking this would be another "Nannie Diaries" which I never read, but did watch. I was pleasently surprised however. Grace is an undocumented worker from Trinidad. Her plans to watch children of a friend have fallen through, so she must fight for one of the highly competitive spots in the world of New York nannies. It was a fascinating look into the world of these women, many undocumented from the West Indies and the abuse and demands they endure from their priveledged employers. The author, from Trinidad, was herself a nanny for a time, so the narrative seems very authentic." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 2/7/2014

    " could not get on the same page with the narrator perhaps another day "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 1/31/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. This young lady shows people in their true light. It read very fast, almost too fast. I almost felt as if the ending were not complete. I only hope for a next book so I can continue this wonderful escape into a world I knew nothing about. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Josie | 1/30/2014

    " Almost three stars, but I never quite got into this book. It could have used better focus and characterization. The pacing was also off, interesting chapters followed by blah ones. I liked the idea of a more serious version of the Nanny Diaries in theory but not as much in reality. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 1/23/2014

    " Make the nanny a Trinidad native but it's still the Nanny Diaries. Yawn. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krissy Obermark | 1/20/2014

    " Amongst all the hub-bub over "the Help" - it was nice to read a story of modern day domestic help and to ponder if we've really come very far at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Imasongbyrd | 12/4/2013

    " grace comes to NY from Trinidad and is taken exploited as a nanny and maid "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Faye | 10/26/2013

    " If possible, I'd give this a 2.5. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 9/20/2012

    " This was an interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah | 8/8/2012

    " This is a beach read, albeit one that is smartly written. Many descriptions are comically accurate and mask the darker themes that prevail the pages. A review that likened this novel to a mixture of "The Nanny Diaries" & "The Help" inspired me to pick it up and I wasn't sorry. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 5/10/2012

    " difficult to follow the dialogue and absolutely hated miriam. also read a book called father mucker earlier this week that good reads didn't recognize the title, had some lol moments but overall not worth your time "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arlene | 4/28/2012

    " Really nice story. I never thought of the lives of the "childen minders"...aka nannies. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kim Kantenwein | 11/29/2011

    " I thought this book sounded good, but the Caribbean dialogue got old and I just didn't really end up enjoying it much "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Josie | 5/13/2011

    " Almost three stars, but I never quite got into this book. It could have used better focus and characterization. The pacing was also off, interesting chapters followed by blah ones. I liked the idea of a more serious version of the Nanny Diaries in theory but not as much in reality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deanna | 4/22/2011

    " I met Victoria Brown at the Christamore Book & Author's luncheon.
    She has a wonderful Spirit! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 4/12/2011

    " This book is wonderful! I enjoyed reading this book. I think that Grace is a wonderful character. I liked that she was so smart, thoughtful, gracious and loving. A very good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 2/27/2011

    " I received this free from the publisher and read it over several days while on my exercise bike. It made me anxious to get on the bike to see what would happen to Grace--I found the storing absorbing and a good, fun light read. "

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About the Author

Victoria Brown was born in Trinidad and at just sixteen years old came alone to New York, where she worked as a full-time nanny for several years. She majored in English at Vassar College before attending the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Eventually she returned to New York, where she taught English at LaGuardia Community College. She now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

About the Narrator

Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to having won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, she has been nominated multiple times for the prestigious Audie Award. Equally adept at narrating fiction and nonfiction, and she also narrates audiobooks under the name Jane Brown.