The midlands

Mismatched from the start: One Day I Shall Astonish the World, by Nina Stibbe, reviewed

First the bad news: Nina Stibbe’s new novel does not feature Lizzie Vogel, the engaging narrator of the trilogy that made her name as a comic novelist after she’d first published some extremely funny letters written during her stint as a nanny in a north London household in the 1980s. Man at the Helm (2015) is the novel Dickens lacked the generosity to write, in which tribute is paid to the creative value of a chaotic childhood presided over by what the conventional world calls an unfit parent. The two which followed covered just a year of Lizzie’s teens and early twenties. The fact that our beady-eyed chronicler remains on