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The Nanny Diaries
The Nanny Diaries
Author: Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
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 ridiculo...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780312291631
ISBN-10: 0312291639
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 1401

3.6 stars, based on 1401 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 78 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
"Although I expected this book to be funny, having heard that it delves deep into the quirks of New York's wealthy elite, I was not prepared for the feelings of indignation, dismay and embarrassment it evoked as well. Beneath the simple story line - a twenty something college student works as a nanny to pay the rent - lays a minefield of human dysfunction. There is the mother who can't stand to touch or be with her child for more than a few minutes, and only then if he is completely clean; the father who routinely fails to show up for preplanned family events such as trips to Aspen, Christmas parties and dinner parties; the father's mistress who tries to enlist Nanny in her secret trysts; and the father's secretary who is always covering for her boss. And that's just the immediate family. Things get even more complicated and uncomfortable as Nanny's duties are expanded to include helping the wife shop, run errands and make restaurant reservations. What saves the novel from becoming just another tawdry soap opera is the skillful development of the relationship between Nanny and her 4-year old charge Grayer, and the healthy reality checks provided by Nan's (Nannny) outspoken and eminently practical family.

Like all young children, Grayer can be a terror. He bites, he kicks, he refuses to play nicely, and at first he can't stand the sight of Nanny who has come to replace his previous and much loved caretaker, Caitlin. However, as time goes on Grayer and Nanny hammer out a relationship and a routine they both can enjoy. However, as the tension builds between Grayer's parents, becomes clear that a meltdown is inevitable. What makes it almost unbearable is Grayer's vulnerability and Nanny's inability to protect him. Be prepared for humor laced with bitterness and sorrow as The Nanny Diaries proves that in the midst of abundance it is possible to starve from lack of love."
- Naia
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I was very sad reading this book. The parents' lack of love for their child really got to me. Part of me wanted the nanny to stay, so that the boy would have someone around him who really cared about him, but I understood why she had to go. I didn't find this book to be funny-just too sad.
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book is sometimes heartbreaking in its portrayal of the rich people who have children-- and then do not bother to take care of them. The narrator, Nanny, remarks that it is truly sad that the only people who care for these children are the ones who are paid to take care of them. Don't get me wrong, I loved this book-- Nanny was a great narrator, and her humor was spot-on. But at times I was also crying because the neglect of little Grayer was so sad. A great read; I recommend it.
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 142 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I know that they say that the book is 'diabolically funny' - but I actually found it really sad! Story about people who are just too busy with their own life to be parents!!
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I really enjoyed this book. Good use of humor was made to present what was really a very sad story about "how the other half lives."

I'm sure that not every wealthy family with a Nanny treats their children and employees this badly, but knowing that the authors have worked for many of them makes it seem likely that this happens quite often. One of the saddest parts of this book for me was having the feeling that four-year old Grayer, while a sweet child, albeit with problems caused by the lack of attachment from his parents, was inevitably going to end up just the same as his parents when he gets older.

I felt very sympathetic towards Nanny. She was well aware of being walked on, but felt the need to stay around to help protect little Grayer. Such a selfless act took a lot of courage and strength.
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reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 27 more book reviews
This book was a page turner. I can't believe the abuse this nanny put up with. It was a good, fast read and funny at parts. A few complaints, the main characters are called generic names such as "Nanny" and "Mrs, X". Which was odd. I was expecting more of a big revenge ending. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 151 more book reviews
Ms McLaughlin and Kraus have joined forces to write a fictionalized account of their experiences working as nannies to wealthy families in New York.

In this story, it is specifically nannies for families in which only the father works at a paying job. The wife does non-paying, but very important charity work and social events with other women like herself. Neither parent is actually interested in actually being a parent. They have a child and pay others to take care of the raising of the child.

The story is interesting and well told, but so much is so very unbelievable, Im not sure that Im willing to apply the trust is stranger than fiction mantra. I did enjoy reading it, but it really feels like both authors pulled only the most extreme eccentricities of working for these women and it would appear it is the wives that they work for, the fathers are pretty much relegated to being money machines.

One disappointment is their ability to give the family and other characters in the story actual names the main characters name is always Nanny. Even her boyfriend calls her Nanny. I assume they were attempt a writing ploy to show how truly non-entity she was when working as the nanny but, based on conversations with her family and friends, they do not see her as a non-entity.

I was also frustrated that the main character only wanted to work about 10 hours per week for this family, but was obviously doing more like 30 and would never just say no. As if there are no other jobs in New York than this one position that would give her the hours that she needed to make the money that she needed. Nanny does need the income, but she is obviously able to find way more hours than she was hired to work to accommodate this family that I think she would have been better served working a consistent 20 hours per week at the worst Wal-Mart store in the country. It was very frustrating to me that she wouldnt just quit.

But, I understood why she didnt want to quit shed developed an attachment to the child and recognized that he was desperate for attention. So desperate that he wore his fathers business card attached to his clothing at all times. It was obvious she thought that if she was not there, this poor little boy would suffer immensely.

Overall, an interesting book.
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 44 more book reviews
It seems like there are a lot of negative things said about this book. However, I did enjoy it and I thought it was amusing. Give it a try.

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