Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

December 7th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


Source: Bought used

Availability: In stores now

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars

Description from Wanted: One young woman to take care of four-year-old boy. Must be cheerful, enthusiastic and selfless—bordering on masochistic. Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a deliberately nap-deprived preschooler. Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family. Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculously erratic pay. Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employers Hermès bag. Those who take it personally need not apply.

Who wouldn’t want this job? Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family. She rapidly learns the insane amount of juggling involved to ensure that a Park Avenue wife who doesn’t work, cook, clean, or raise her own child has a smooth day.

When the Xs marriage begins to disintegrate, Nanny ends up involved way beyond the bounds of human decency or good taste. Her tenure with the X family becomes a nearly impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four-year-old, her own integrity and, most importantly, her sense of humor. Over nine tense months, Mrs. X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power as they test the limits of modern-day servitude.

I enjoyed this book although you cannot help but wonder why does Nan put herself through the torture of working for the X’s.  It just seemed so masochistic and yet as we slowly saw how she bonded with Grayer I realized how tough a position she was in.  Do you suck it up in order to stay and provide the love that your charge is seriously missing in their life?  It made me want to cry to see how Grayer would reach out for affection towards both his mom and dad just to have them brush him aside to rush to a business meeting or a pedicure.  I had initially thought this book was going to be mostly fluff but I was so wrong.  It totally left my heart wringing in sadness for Grayer and all those children who probably do have lives similar to this.  A wonderful read and the sequel is due out in December 2009.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Chick Lit

2 Responses

  1. J. Kaye

    I’m not the kind to suck it up, so I’d have an issue with the character. Great review though!

  2. Belle

    I remember I liked the ending of this book and the beginning, but felt quite frustrated in the middle – like you, I couldn’t understand why she stayed. Nice review!

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