Get the key ideas from

Nanaville

Adventures in Grandparenting

By Anna Quindlen
12-minute read
Audio available
Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen

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.” 

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

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. 

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Nanaville

Adventures in Grandparenting

By Anna Quindlen
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen
Synopsis

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.” 

Key idea 1 of 7

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. 

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.