Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Club Friday: The Nanny Diaries


Here's what I read this week...
The Nanny Diaries: A Novel
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
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 ridiculously 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.

My thoughts...
When I was looking for a summary of this book, I found some pretty negative reviews, but I thought it was really good! Maybe I'm just not picky, maybe seeing the movie first made me know what to expect (to a small degree), or maybe those people were just dumb....
I laughed, I teared up... I pretty much loved this book. Anyone who loves a child will feel their heart break for Grayer as he is continually disregarded by his parents, and will have their heart warmed again by the loving bond he has with Nanny. I liked the way the main character, Nanny, narrated, as if she's simply telling the story to a friend. I also enjoyed the combo of chick-lit, social commentary and sarcasm. It's not Shakespeare, but I'd recommend it!
The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, is also very good. It does differ from the novel... the main character's name, her family situation, her school work... but it evokes just as much emotion, at least it did for me.
And so, I think you should read the book, even if you've seen the movie. And if you've read the book, you should also see the movie. The story is just that awesome.


  1. I thought this was a good book, and I thought it was sad too. Most of the times I don't go a long with what the crowd does. For example, I liked Gigli.

  2. I will have to get this out of the library!

  3. I'm sorry...I had a good comment for this post, then I saw that Katie likes Gigli...hahaha

    Okay, I really liked this book!

  4. I guess I can't say much... because I never saw Gigli.... but I lol-ed anyway. :)

  5. I just got this book. Glad to hear you liked it!


Comment love makes me smile. :)