The Nanny Diaries

The Nanny Diaries

A Novel

Book - 2002
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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 preschooler. Must love geting 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 employer's 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 X's 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 important, 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.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312948047
Branch Call Number: MCLA
Characteristics: 305 p
Additional Contributors: Kraus, Nicola


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May 14, 2015

“The Nanny Diaries” follows Nanny, a university student who works as a part-time nanny for the X’s, an upper-class New York City family. While working for the X’s and caring for their son, Nanny becomes entangled in the family’s complex personal lives. Along the way, she uses her wit and humour to try and brighten every situation, but finds that her attempts causes nearly every situation to take a turn for the worst.

This novel is heartwarming, hilarious, and wonderful. The plot is brilliant and unique, and will have readers laughing through their tears. Each character is lovable, humorous, and flawed, making them feel as though they are real people telling their stories. Nanny is an incredible, well-rounded character who is sure to find her way into each and every reader’s heart. The X’s are seemingly despicable, but create sympathy for themselves when more of their thoughts and motives are revealed. Grayer (the X’s young son) is ridiculously sweet. The setting is familiar (New York City), and only adds to the novel’s realness. The story is also extremely realistic and believable, as the authors themselves spent many years working for families just like the X’s.

Overall, the author of this review highly recommends “The Nanny Diaries”. It’s a hilarious and enjoyable read. The book also has deep, meaningful messages about family and parenting, as well as the importance of friendships. “The Nanny Diaries” also contains some minor symbolism, and due to this the author of this review believes this novel to be suitable as a ‘book talk’ or essay book. The author of this review believes “The Nanny Diaries” to be suitable for ages fourteen and up.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 23, 2014

A deliciously voyeuristic glimpse into life in the upper reaches of Manhattan’s east side. The authors, former nannies to the wealthy Park Avenue set, get sweet revenge here. Laugh and cry as Nanny runs herself ragged assuaging the caprices of a mother who does not work, cook, clean, or raise her child but manages to be completely worn out by shopping for and grooming herself. The authors manage to empathise not only with the downtrodden Nanny, but more poignantly with the poor little boy who never gets what he really needs, the hollow father who does not know what he wants and even the horrid mother who will never feel secure. Treat yourself to this very funny satire of the over privileged and their odd relationship with their badly treated, underpaid and overworked hired help.

CLLinda Aug 30, 2014

Very funny book. As someone who has worked with children for many years, it's a very tongue in cheek book for me. Some very real scenes were in this book. I loved it.

Jul 29, 2013

Reminds me of some families I have worked as I completed my BS in Child Development. This was a great read

Oct 17, 2012

Eye-opening on the life on Park Avenue. What exactly does it take to be the one raising someone else's child while being held responsible for that child's education and entrance into Collegiate? Find out:

Oct 15, 2012

Very funny, liked the book as much as the movie.

Feb 13, 2012

It took me only a couple hours to read and finish this book, not a hard read. About Nan who is a full-time student at NYU in Early Childhood Development studies, while she gets a position as a part-time (but more like full-time and then some) caregiver to Grayer to a Manhattan family. The mother and the father seem to be at ends with each other and Nan just gets stuck in the middle of it all. Reminded me when I used to babysit kids when I was younger for many years, but nothing like Mr. and Mrs. X and their cohorts.

sblazey Aug 30, 2011

This was a sweet story. It managed to tug at the heartstrings, and make me mad and empathetic, and it threw in a bit of PG romance for good measure.

FavouriteFiction Sep 29, 2009

The 2007 film based on this novel stars Scarlett Johansson and Laura Linney


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FavouriteFiction Sep 29, 2009

Annie is a young girl from a working-class neighborhood who suddenly finds herself working as a nanny for a wealthy family in Manhattan's Upper East Side. Between catering to the every whim of her employers and their precocious son and falling in love with their gorgeous neighbor, Annie tries to figure out what she wants to do with her life.

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