After succeeding in her quest to help her unconventional mother find a new "man at the helm," 15-year-old Lizzie Vogel simply wants to be a normal teenager. Just when it looks as if things have settled down, her mother goes and has another baby. On top of that, Lizzie's best friend has deserted her for the punk craze, which Lizzie finds too exhausting to commit to herself. But Lizzie soon gets more commitment than she bargained for when she takes a job as a junior nurse at Paradise Lodge, a ramshackle refuge for the elderly that has seen better days. When Paradise Lodge faces a crisis in the form of a rival nursing home, Lizzie must find a way to save her job before she loses the only place she's ever felt she belongs.
Soon after her parents' separation, nine-year-old Lizzie Vogel moves with her siblings and newly single mother to a tiny village in the English countryside, where the new neighbors are horrified by their unorthodox ways and fatherless household. Lizzie's theatrical mother only invites more gossip by spending her days drinking whiskey, popping pills and writing plays. The one way to fit in, the children decide, will be to find themselves a new man at the helm.
Twenty-year-old Nina Stibbe moves to a posh section of London to become a nanny to two young boys, the sons of well-known editor Mary-Kay Wilmers. Nina has no experience as a nanny but jumps right in and soon becomes a valued member of the quirky household. LOVE, NINA is comprised of Nina's letters home to her sister, Victoria. Though the correspondence is one-sided, the reader becomes well acquainted with this family through Nina's frank and often amusing letters.