50 Book Challenge, 5/50: The Nanny Diaries

6 Feb

The Nanny Diaries Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Amazon.com Description
The Nanny Diaries is an absolutely addictive peek into the utterly weird world of child rearing in the upper reaches of Manhattan’s social strata. Cowritten by two former nannies, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, the novel follows the adventures of the aptly named Nan as she negotiates the Byzantine byways of working for Mrs. X, a Park Avenue mommy. Nan’s four-year-old charge, the hilariously named Grayer (his pals include Josephina, Christabelle, Brandford and Darwin) is a genuinely good sort. He can’t help it if his Mom has scheduled him for every activity known to the Upper East Side, including ice skating, French lessons, and a Mommy and Me group largely attended by nannies. What makes the book so impossible to put down is the suspense of finding out what  the unbelievably inconsiderate Mrs. X will demand of Nan next. One pictures the two authors having the last laugh on their former employers.

My Review
This was a quick re-read for me. I started to read the sequel to this book, Nanny Returns, and quickly realized I had completely forgotten what had happened in The Nanny Diaries.

I know the X’s are supposedly not based on real people — the first time I read this, it shocked me that the X’s were even a composite of many of the families the authors had nannied for over the years. However, through my friendship with someone who nannies (not for the ultra rich like Nan in the book, but the people she’s worked for over the years definitely aren’t hurting financially), nothing in this book shocked me on the second read. It made me angry, the way the X’s treated Grayer and Nanny, but not surprised. Unfortunately there are very rich people in the world who have children and don’t spend a lick of time alone with them (my ex-friend’s most current position is this way — they have three people who combine for a 24-hour shift — yes, even when the children are sleeping, someone is there). It’s very sad.

Anyway, this isn’t my comment on society, it’s supposed to be a review of the book. I enjoyed it the second time around as much as I did the first. I can tell I liked it because of how much the characters infuriated me — to me that says they were well-written.

I’ve read mixed reviews about Nanny Returns, however. I’m starting that tonight, so I’ll let you know.

5 / 50 books. 10% done!



1446 / 15000 pages. 10% done!


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