Book Reviews of The Nanny Diaries

The Nanny Diaries
The Nanny Diaries
Author: Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
ISBN-13: 9780312278588
ISBN-10: 0312278586
Publication Date: 3/13/2002
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 720

3.6 stars, based on 720 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

109 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 85 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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.
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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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Helpful Score: 2
This book absolutely took me in, got me involved, and had me bawling by the end. It's got characters that are so outrageous that your mouth will drop open, a little boy who is so real you almost swear he exists, and one exhausted Nanny who you root for pretty much the whole way through, not to mention the all-too-realistic but sad ending. Truly, a wonderful book.
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An insane social satire in the vein of The Devil Wears Prada, this book delves into the world of society mavins and the people they hire to be their children's pseudo-parents.

Nanny is trying to finish her degree in child development at NYU, and takes on nanny positions as a way to stay housed in her tiny studio that she shares with her over-sexed stewardess... i mean... flight attendant... roomate.

She finds new employment with the X family, which consists of Mr. X, his socialite "i'm-too-busy-with-the-Parent's-League-to-BE-a-parent" wife, and their 4 year old son, Grayer. What should have been a two nights a week job, turns into a full-time nanny position, plus the bonus of getting to be a personal assistant to Mrs. X, all for the whopping sum of 10 bucks an hour. In between jaunts with Grayer to his French lessons, piano lessons, playdates, preschool, doctor appointments, and schlepping to Saks to get the right kind of lavender water for Mr's X's trendy soirees, Nanny tries desperately to get to her classes on time and write her Senior thesis.

Add to this the discovery of finding out Mr. X is cheating on Mrs. X with a colleague... *gasp*. Suddenly, even the mistress is trying to tell Nanny what to do, and what to buy!

This story is pretty entertaining. The girls who wrote this both have actually BEEN nannies to over 30 families in NYC, and one must wonder how many of these instances that happen actually happened to them, because surely, you can't just make this sh*t up.

One thing i could have wished for... a 'real' first name for the main character. She and everyone else call her 'Nanny' through the entire book, and until i was halfway through the book, i kept wondering to myself who on god's green earth would NAME their child Nanny and how IRONIC it was that she would end up BEING a Nanny, til i realized that Nanny must be a fictional pseudonym for the character, much as the last name of "X" for the family she works for. What threw me was that all her close friends and family kept calling her 'Nan' like it really was her name...

I do recommend this for a read, if you enjoy this sort of book. I thought it was so touching how close she and Grayer became, and i could definately use some of her nanny moments in my real life sometimes.
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Helpful Score: 1
Interesting glimpse into the crazy world of some of NYCs very wealthy. Less about the nannying/children than you might think.
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Helpful Score: 1
The best book that I have read in a while. It is about one Nanny's journey with the terrible Mrs. X, her absent aldulter of a husband, their child, and all the weird things that are requested of nanny. It was just a fun read...
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you have ever been a nanny this is a must read for you! My friend nannied 2 summers ago and she would tell me some wild tales, then I read this book and it sounded exactly like her experience! A very good read!
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Helpful Score: 1
Interesting read getting a dramatized peek into high society New York. Although I was frustrated with the characters' behavior throughout the book, it was compelling enough for me to finish it.
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Helpful Score: 1
Great chick lit, especially for the the right-out-of-college and trying-to-make-their-way set! I definately identified with the main character in her quest to make her life more bearable while trying to balance ambitions with reality.
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Helpful Score: 1
At various times I wanted to slap the nannys employer myself! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the rollercoster of emotions it sent me on with almost every turn of the page.
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Helpful Score: 1
It was hard to like this book. The nanny had no backbone whatsoever. Someone should only take so much until enough is enough. I didn't like how the nanny was named Nanny either. Her employers are Mr. and Mrs. X. Very weird. I feel so sorry for Grayer, the boy that she is paid to take care of. All that little boy wants is a real family who loves him. It has it's good parts though. I laughed out loud at a few sentences.
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Helpful Score: 1
The book made for interesting reading and there were parts that were so hilarious, you could read a line and still chuckle about it hours later. For anyone who believes child-rearing is a one-shoe-fits-all process, they ought to read about the trials and tribulations of raising children in New York. In "The Nanny Diaries", readers will meet the wealthy, whizzy-dizzy, Park Avenus mom, Mrs X. She is definitely not your ordinary everyday mom and these are by no means your typical, average nannies. While most readers will find the book highly amusing, if you live or have lived in New York, or any large major city, you are certain to have a better appreciation for the context of the book and a closer affinity to the escapades and experiences mothers, children and these unique nannies encounter. The book is highly entertaining and would make a top-notch movie or television comedy!
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Helpful Score: 1
This was one of the most "fun" books I have read in a long time. Its quick and easy reading and very entertaining. I couldnt wait to see what torments "Mrs. X" would have in store for Nanny next! You wont be sorry you read this one!
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Helpful Score: 1
The cover of the book made me expect a light, entertaining story. And it was well written and believable, about a pair of rich, horrible parents and their little boy, and the nanny who they hired to take care of him. But as the book progressed it became a very painful experience to see how this child was emotionally abused by his parents, and the end was devastating. I can't believe all the reviews here which characterize the book as light and amusing. Did they read a different book than I did, or are they so unaware of the pain a child in that situation would suffer that they just didn't get it?

Some reviewers focused on the abuse of the nanny, and hoped she would stand up for herself. The story seemed to me to be based on actual experience, and the reviewers apparently didn't realize that many people in "service jobs" don't have the option of telling their bosses off since they are in a position where they need the work and they need recommendations to move on.
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on
Helpful Score: 1
A clever, cutting review of a Nanny's life (or that of any "you're a member of the family and my absolute best friend until I decide I hate you and then you are banished"-type servant). I have been a slave to the rich and famous and I can tell you, every chapter of this bi-polar lifestyle rings true. Funny and truly felt.
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Helpful Score: 1
âA deep look into the secret world of the wealthy (from the âhelpsâ point of view).â

I enjoyed this book, and hated it at the same time. Sometimes I wanted to pull Mrs. X out of the book and shake her until she realized what she was doing. Very easy read, I was pulled in the second I picked it up.
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. It was a great look at how people can be so self absorbed that they forget how their actions may impact the others around them. Specifically, those that they are suppose to love unconditionally...like a child.
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A very funny book.
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it's a great story from a nanny, everyone who is a caregiver should read it. Funny but heartfelt with loveable characters.
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Good, fun "Beach Read."
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Great fun read...Soon to be a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johanson
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I really enjoyed this book,I found it an interesting insight into the world of a nanny.
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I could not put this book down a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the wealthy and how they deal with their children.
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great, quick read. I could not put it down.
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Loved this book, very comically.
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Very entertaining & heart breaking book.. I found it hard to stomach that one person could let herself be dumped upon like that - although she did love little Grayer selflessly.. I was routing for to tell the "boss" off & she never did.. My heart broke for the little 4 year old that got stuck with those awful parents.. the selfishness of the parents was just too much to handle at times..
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This is excellent reading for any one who wants to care for children.Laughed through most.
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really good beach book
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I really liked this book. The charectors were good and the story line was good as well. I like to read chick lit but sometimes they are all the same story lines this one mixed it up a bit.
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I loved this book. The movie was cute, but the book is soooo much better. Much deeper story line.
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Good book. A fun read!
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An incredibly funny, light read. A great vacation or beach book to make you laugh.
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An entertaining book and quick read. I wasn't crazy about the ending because a lot of things were left hanging. Maybe there will be a sequal.
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Good book!
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very funny
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 2 more book reviews
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.
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Funny and interesting, especially if you work with children.
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I also didn't like this book. I tried really hard to get into it, but it just felt unreal. I cannot see someone sticking around for that kind of abuse from an employer. Especially when she saw how the previous nanny was treated.
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Poor Nan spends her time working for a horrible woman with horrible expectations for her 4-year-old son. Throw beginning and ending love into the equation and you've got a pretty good book. The Nanny Diaries will make you go "Really?! Do the really think that?" many times, and will throw in a few laughs too. Definitely a good read for a boring day. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who wanted Nan to give Mrs.X a good yelling at, but oh well.
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Easy, entertaining read.
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An excellent, easy read. Better than the movie!
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An enjoyable read.
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What a fun read for someone who likes a light story!
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Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

Nanny is going to NYU to get her degree in child care, but first she must deal with the X's.

The X's are a typical rich New York family: Dad is a workaholic; Mom doesn't have a job but is too busy shopping and running her social life to raise her child; Grayer (nicknamed Grover/Grov) is the four-year-old who wants nothing more than his parents' attention.

Nanny becomes very attached to Grayer, who is absolutely adorable and really likes Nanny because she is the one raising him. Nanny and Grayer go on many adventures together and Nanny must deal with the crazy Mrs. X, who doesn't come home when she says she will, doesn't pay within a normal time frame, and is just downright mean to Nanny -- and to her own child.

This is a great story of love and affection, and also the lack of it. I really liked reading this book because Nanny has a life outside of her job, like falling in love with H.H.-Harvard Hottie. Nanny and Grayer are realistic and the parents are the crazy people in the book, which makes this a great view for teens.

I had a lot of fun reading THE NANNY DIARIES, and will recommend it to all of my friends who have ever babysat for crazy parents!
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 178 more book reviews
Boring. Rent the movie.
reviewed The Nanny Diaries on + 14 more book reviews
I loved this book. It is situated in a ritzy part of New York City and is written in the first person by Nanny. Her name is Nanny and her job is Nanny, and all she wants to do is be a nanny, but she ends up being a personal servant in a rich and very shallow household. Fascinating!
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A fun read although, sad as you examine how the rich families ignore their children and hire other people to raise them.
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I read this book in one day! The last book I read in one day was in High School and I had to because I procrastinated. I was a nanny when i was 15 to a ritzy couple in the Boston Area, I have the same experiences of feeling like a second class citizen or an indentured servant. Great read- you will laugh, you will cry, you will shout "NO WAY". I might even read this book again.
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Very well written!Enjoyed the book from beginning to end.
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OH MY GOSH!!!! I was so anxious to read this since I spent about 4 years as a nanny. Thankfully, none of my families fit this extreme family, but I could relate on some levels. It kept my attention and I couldn't put it down. What a look into the lives of a select few in our world. She could sure put up with a lot more than I could. I enjoyed it very much.
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funny and cute
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Not a very upbeat storyline but if you enjoyed "The Devil Wears Prada" you'll likely enjoy this book, as well.
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I loved this book! It's a very fast read! And it makes you laugh.
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Funny, enjoyable book written by a Park Avenue nanny
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Just LOVED this book! ~ Michelle
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This was a fun read.
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This satire is based on the real-life experiences of two former nannies. It is a very interesting look into the "utterly weird world of child rearing in the upper reaches of Manhattan's social strata."
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As a nanny for a high profile family, I could swear that Mr. and Mrs. X were the people I was working for. Oh goodness... this is a definite read for any nanny! :D
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Great Funny Light Read :)
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This book would have been much funnier if I were not a nanny and had never worked as a baby-sitter for families whose children don't see their parents for days at a time. The child I care for now has loving parents, or I would not have taken the job; but two children I cared for have a father who alternated between saying to me, "I'd like you to use half that amount of reduced-fat butter in the macaroni-and-cheese so D. (who was three at the time) doesn't get heart disease" and lifting his other child up off the bed with one hand, leaving a hand-shaped bruise on his arm. Some parents should never, ever have had children, and that's not funny at all.
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Fantastic - funny and biting at times. I honestly could not put it down.
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Great fun fast pace book
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I was a nanny for years, and this book cracked me up!
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This will be out as a movie soon. It's a good book by itself, but almost worth reading in order to understand the references to it in today's popular culture. Lavender water.
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This book gives such a real view of what nannying is like for those who have access to too much wealth. Very touching, funny, and enjoyable!
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I thought that this was a really funny and yet poignant true dtory of a girl trying to get through college by being a nanny who gets attached to the child she's tending
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This book was an okay read for me. I had tears in my eyes several times just seeing how this poor child was being treated by his parents in their high society ways! However, it also made me appreciate my own children more and vow to love them and cherish them every day.

An easy read...I flew threw this in a couple days.
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I loved this book. Funny and sad at the same time.
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This was a good read, although I thought the nanny could have found herself a better place to work. The X's weren't the ideal family to work for from the beginning.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this. Though the language is a little raw at times, it is a very believeable story about the realtionships between nannies and their families.
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This book evoked strong reactions from me about the family that employs Nanny. I enjoyed this book, and by the end of the book I almost felt Nanny was a close friend!
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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.
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I usually don't go for books like this (chick lit if you will although this book is smart chick lit), I found it great fun. I am reading Citizen Girl right now and it has the same style...
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Fun book and an interesting read. Made me NOT want to be a nanny! :)
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I thought this book was very cute, funny, light read.
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This was an excellent read, hilariously written, achingly sad in some places. Written by two former nannies to families of Manhattan's upper class.
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Book was better then the movie
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This book is written by tow former nannies, this alternately comic and poignant satire punctures the glamour of Manhattan's upper class.
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Quick read :)
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This was a fun, quick read.
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Great book. Loved the story. Couldn't put it down.
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light summer read
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An excellent primer on the anxieties of the very wealthy and a pleasant read overall.
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I really liked this book. It was funny and entertaining, interesting to see how the "others" live and treat people.
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A hysterical novel that reveals the parenting skills (and lack thereof) in the upper class. I'm guessing that the "novel" is thinly veiled truth, as the author and protagonist were both nannies in college. Don't miss it; this is lots of fun.
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Written by 2 former nannies, this is a funny look that skewers the manner in which America's overprivileged raise their overprivileged offspring with the help of nannies. Follow our NYU student/nanny as she takes a position caring for the only son of a wealthy Manhattan family. There are a lot of laughs and satire in this story of modern-day servitude.
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A great read, fast & entertaining.
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Funny, heartwarming, and at times, heartbreaking. Makes you want to hug your small child tighter and tighter. Also makes you wonder how some people can truly feel others are WAY beneath them. I thought this book was great.
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I loved this book! Great read!!!
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Fun, quick read.
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Great Book, what a joy to read!
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I read this book and had a great laugh---------it was charmingly authentic!!! And it reminded me of my own personal remembrances when I was an in-home nanny for a family. Great book!!
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Really enjoyed the book - rooted for nanny all the way.
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A good laugh. Worth picking up for a weekend read or a trip to the beach.
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Really enjoyable, though occasionally appalling, read. If you have children you'll find yourself scratching your head at the parents and find yourself wishing fervently that they could be smacked 'upside' the head with a healthy dose of realty. Not a happy ever after kind of book but definitely keeps you interested, involved and wishing for a sequel.
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I was curious, so I read it. I dont understand how someone (the nanny) so unhappy with her circumstances, can continue to allow herself to be treated so badly. True, the mother in the story was a horrible excuse for a mother...(egg donor!) but the author seemed to me to just be a whiner. If you hate it that much, get out! I felt GREAT sympathy for the child! Sad that some who are so priveledged...can be so neglectful to their own children.
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"skewers the manner in which America's overprivileged raise les petites overprivileged-- as if grooming them for a Best in Show competition." ... from the book jacket
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book better than the movie
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This is a hardcover that is a little worn but in overall good condition. Basically just some dog-eared pages.
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Such a hilarious and touching story. Loved every page.
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A little historical background: For those American-raised, I think we are all familiar with the popular cartoon Scooby Doo. The plot structure goes something like this: (1) Crazy antics and shenanigans abound. (2) Scooby-Doo and The Gang unmask the villain. (3) As he gets taken away by the authorities, the villain shakes his fist at the Gang and mumbles "Those darn kids!".
I didn't realize this until (much, much) later in life, but this basic plot structure repeats in every single episode of Scooby Doo. Every. Single. One.
Fast forward to The Nanny Diaries. I am about midpoint in the book when I realize the following keeps repeating: (1) Nanny is placed in awkward situations by the various people she has chosen to be in her life. (2) Nanny allows said people to take complete advantage of her. (3) Nanny goes home and ceaselessly complains to family and friends about her woeful situation.
This happens in every single chapter. Every. Single. One.
As a child, I loved Scooby Doo. There's something subconsciously comforting about the predictability of it all. But what might have worked for Scooby Doo, doesn't work for The Nanny Diaries. By the 8th iteration of the same theme, it got old, very very old. Because of these limitations, The Nanny Diaries quickly became a frustrating reading experience.
Plot weaknesses aside (and that's a VERY large aside), The Nanny Diaries does have its merits. McLaughlin and Kraus offer a peek (however shallow) at the exclusive world of Upper East Side Manhattanites. One gets a voyeuristic kick from this airing of dirty laundry of a population who go to great lengths to avoid having their dirty laundry aired. Also, as I am currently writing this review roughly 30 blocks south of Mrs. X's fictional apartment, I can attest to the authenticity of the authors' depiction of place and time. It is obvious, these two are insiders, they speak from experience.
I'm sure that this book will remain a must-read for care-givers and nannies, but for the rest of the population, you have been warned. I wouldn't discourage anyone intent on reading the book (I don't regret it)... but don't be surprised if you find yourself pining for the simpler days of Scooby Doo.
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So funny and true of those Park Avenue types. Hilarious and touching.
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Didn't eally care for this book, lost my interest halfway through, it got of boring and depressing. Maybe someone else will enjoy it?
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Good book, but the author left things kind of up in the air about Nanny's personal life in the end. I did have a few good laughs though. I would definately reccomend it to others.
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I'd heard good things about this book from a friend who babysits and was glad it lived up to the hype.

"Mary Poppins channeling Dorothy Parker" --Time magazine
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Fun, quick read. Perfect for pool or beach.
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This book has a minor water damage stain on the book jacket ONLY. The book itself has NO water staining.
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This does not have the paper cover over book.
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missing dust jacket...but will be found.