Review: The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

nannyI picked this one up at the library book sale, and had low expectations for it. I figured it would be a good fluffy beach read type of book – you know, not a lot of substance but amusing enough to wile away a sunny day (or a rainy one, or even a snowy one!)

I was wrong.

This book is high on substance – overflowing with it, even! It’s smart and funny and so dead on. Nanny’s adventures working for a super rich family in NYC are laugh-out-loud hilarious and sad all at the same time. These deluded adults are so stuck on themselves and their image that they fail to see the world around them, let alone their four-year-old son. To them, he is just an accessory, like a Hermes bag or a pair of Manolo Blanik shoes. The mother, Mrs. X, reminded me so much of a former boss that it was scary.I could totally see my boss behaving like Mrs. X. She is totally stuck on what’s trendy, even in parenting, though she doesn’t practice any of the parenting trends herself. Instead, she foists them on Nanny to execute while she shops, gets manicures, etc. Between the organic food, studying foreign language, reading Shakespearian children’s verse and more, Mrs. X seems to be forgetting that this is a child, not a robot. Determined for Grayer (that’s his name) to get into a top-notch grade school, she is obsessed with his behavior, and always seems to catch Nanny at a moment when she’s letting him watch TV or feeding him junk food.

Totally enjoyable from start to finish. Though it’s probably more geared toward a female reader, this book is smart and engaging enough that anyone with a sense of humor will probably like it, especially if you are at or near the parenting age. Those of us who can’t afford nannies can see how the other half lives – and it seems like it’s better on our side!

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