Nanaville Book Summary - Nanaville Book explained in key points
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Nanaville summary

Anna Quindlen

Adventures in Grandparenting

3.8 (48 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Nanaville by Anna Quindlen is a heartwarming memoir about becoming a grandmother and the joys and challenges of this new role. It reflects on the relationships between grandparents and grandchildren, and the different ways in which they support each other through life.

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    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. 

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    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.” 

    Nanaville Review

    Nanaville (2019) by Anna Quindlen explores the complexities and joys of becoming a grandparent. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Quindlen's honest and relatable storytelling allows readers to connect with the experiences and emotions of being a grandparent, creating a sense of empathy and understanding.
    • The book offers insightful reflections on the changing dynamics of family relationships, providing valuable lessons and perspectives for readers of all ages.
    • Through humor and warmth, Quindlen brings to life the delightful and sometimes challenging moments of being a grandparent, ensuring that the book is far from boring.

    Best quote from Nanaville

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

    —Anna Quindlen
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    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. 

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    Nanaville FAQs 

    What is the main message of Nanaville?

    The main message of Nanaville is the joys and challenges of being a grandparent.

    How long does it take to read Nanaville?

    The reading time for Nanaville varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Nanaville a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Nanaville is a heartwarming and insightful read about the role of grandparents. It's definitely worth your time!

    Who is the author of Nanaville?

    The author of Nanaville is Anna Quindlen.

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