Nanaville Book Summary - Nanaville Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Nanaville summary

Anna Quindlen

Adventures in Grandparenting

3.8 (47 ratings)
17 mins
Table of Contents

    summarized in 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Grandparents are supporting characters in their grandchildren’s lives.

    It began with a text message. 

    Anna was sitting in her dining room when it arrived. It was from Quin, her oldest son, and he had joyful news. His wife, Lynn, had made it through an emergency C-section. So had Arthur, the child whose birth they’d all been anxiously awaiting. 

    Roughly 360,000 children are born every day. And every day, if they’re lucky enough to witness the occasion, twice as many women become grandmothers like Anna. That’s the big picture. Zoom in, though, and those kinds of statistics look pretty meaningless. What really sticks out is how those women’s roles change as they navigate the shift from motherhood to grandmotherhood. 

    So what’s the difference?

    Here’s the key message: Grandparents are supporting characters in their grandchildren’s lives.

    Most kids are raised by their parents. When they hit adolescence and look back on their formative early years, their moms and dads inevitably loom largest. Grandparents are different. Their names come later in the credits, along with the rest of the supporting cast. 

    But as anyone who has ever had a grandparent will tell you, that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Secondary? Sure. Meaningless? Far from it. 

    Just think of the vital role played by supposedly “peripheral” figures in literature. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet just wouldn’t work without the character of the nurse, who secretly carries messages between the star-crossed lovers. Then there’s Mrs. Hudson, the practical housekeeper who keeps a roof over the head of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famously austere detective, Sherlock Holmes. 

    Supporting characters “flesh out” the plot. Like a movie featuring only a small cast of stars, life without colorful background characters would be poorer. Our grandparents give us a sense of connection with our histories, helping us understand who we are and what we can become. 

    The first step on the journey to becoming a grandmother is accepting that you’ll never play the same role in the lives of your children’s children as you did in the lives of your children. Color, texture, history, mythology – these are the things grandmothers can give their grandsons and granddaughters. 

    Want to see all full key ideas from Nanaville?

    Key ideas in Nanaville

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Nanaville about?

    Nanaville (2019) is a guide to the figurative city of grandmotherhood. Being a grandma is a joyful experience, but it’s certainly not the same as being a mother. Breaking the habits of maternity can be difficult; however, it’s necessary if you want to be the best granny to your grandchildren. Filled with useful, first-hand tips on grandmothering, this book is a must for anyone new to “Nanaville.” 

    Best quote from Nanaville

    There are only two commandments of Nanaville: love the grandchildren and hold your tongue.

    —Anna Quindlen
    example alt text

    Who should read Nanaville?

    • Women on the verge of grandmotherhood
    • Grandmas struggling to overcome maternal habits
    • Mothers and fathers trying to navigate Nanaville

    About the Author

    Anna Quindlen is a journalist, novelist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. In 1998, her novel One True Thing was made into a hit film starring Meryl Streep and Renée Zellwegger. Since then, she’s published 13 books, including Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, and Still Life with Bread Crumbs. She became a grandmother in 2016. 

    Categories with Nanaville

    Books like Nanaville

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial