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 pre-schooler — Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family — Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculou... more »sly erratic pay
Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employers Hermes 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.
The Nanny Diaries deftly skewers the manner in which America's over-privileged raise les petites over-privileged-as if grooming them for a Best in Show competition. Written by two former nannies, this alternately comic and poignant satire punctures the glamour of Manhattan's upper class.« less
"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."
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.
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.
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.
I am one of the few people who disliked the Nanny Diaries. I couldn't get past the self centered boss who used the nanny as a slave. I know that is the whole point of the book. I just wanted the nanny to go off in a big way. I am not sure who was worse, the evil boss or the spineless nanny. No amount of money is worth your dignity. The worse thing about it is that there are people like that in the world.
I agree with the last review. I was over the abnoxious boss in the beginning of the book and was hoping the nanny would do something to remedy the situation. I was estremely annoyed with the ending when she let the boss-lady get her way anyway. Reminded me a lot about the Devil Wears Prada, which was a much better read.
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.
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.
A fun little peek at a world unknown to most of us. Between the excessive money and strange behavior, this book has it's ups and downs. In the end, it shows a great love and respect for children and the people who raise them (be they the parents or the nanny).
I gave the book three stars because the writer is witty and fresh and tells a great story. But the behavior of her employer, not towards the nanny-author, but towards her own child, was so sickening to me that I stopped reading the book early. I paraphrase what someone said, "The rich are different from you and me. They have more money." After I read this book, I questioned whether "more money" is all that's "different." I wondered about the effects of extreme wealth on character, and about its link to the erosion of something as instinctive and fundamental, if not biological, as the maternal drive.
This book brings to light all the absurdities and quirks of the Manhattan nanny system to light. From one side you have the nanny getting treated badly in every manner possible by the kid as well as the mother. On the other side you have the mother who herself is trying to cope with a rather unforgiving world.
The author(s) portray a gripping story that is surely a page turner. The wild ride ends in a twist that is the ultimate revenge of the Nanny. Must read.
I loved this book! It made for great summer reading. Definitely for girls, like children or not. I work at a daycare and so I especially enjoyed seeing the parallels between Nanny's experiences and my own. Skip the movie--but definitely read this book.
This story broke my heart. As someone who has served her time in the trenches as a babysitter for many years growing up I am very glad I never had to face anything like this. Good story but sad ending.
This was a great audio book! Julia Roberts narrates and does a fantastic job! She is SOOOO good at doing Greyor's (the little boy's) voice! I listened to this book in one day because I just couldn't put it down. I was doing housework, shopping and some driving around town and it was perfect. I would definetly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys chick lit!
This book gives a great look at what it takes to be a nanny in New York City!
I read this one after seeing the movie, and I think it's one of few cases where the movie was better. It wasn't a bad book, per se...just more depressing and with more loose ends than the movie left. It's not one I'd read again.