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The Nanny Diaries
The Nanny Diaries
Author: Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
WANTED:One young woman to take care of a four-year-old boy.Must be bordering on masochistic.Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a nap-deprived pre-schooler.Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his familyMostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing...  more »

Those who take it personally need not apply.

Who wouldn’t want this job?

Nanny is a struggling grad student with no visible piercings. Mrs. X, of Park Avenue, doesn’t work, clean, cook, or raise her own child. She makes appointments and lists. Nanny needs a job. Mrs. X needs someone accommodating. Nanny and Mrs. X need each other. In return, Nanny is subjected to erratic shifts, irregular paychecks, and the sullen moods of her four-year-old charge. Sentenced to every play date known to Central Park, and every gourmet-snack run she can handle, Nanny needs a diversion that an afternoon martini can’t fulfill. Then she discovers a secret about Mr. X. Navigating a marriage on the rocks and the increasingly paranoid, impossibly demanding attitude of her employer, Nanny is redefining servitude. Because now, Nanny has something worth more than Mrs. X’s ill-fitting Prada castoffs as a thankless bonus.

Nanny’s acquiring the power of revenge…
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9780312983079
ISBN-10: 0312983077
Publication Date: 11/29/2005
Pages: 384
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 263 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

xserafinx avatar 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.
ScoutDarcy avatar 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.
Foucault avatar 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.
MsJell avatar 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!!
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domesticavalanche avatar reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 6 more book reviews
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.
RainyDaze avatar reviewed The Nanny Diaries on
I *adored* this book. I hadn't seen the movie, and one of my friends offhandedly told me she thought I might like it.

I've since read it several times. I like to pick it up on boring weekends to read. It was a book that, as others have said, was entertaining and didn't require too much thought.
smallactor5 avatar reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 8 more book reviews
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.