Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

Basic plot

"Nanny" is a NYU senior who loves working with children and when she lands a part-time job as nanny to 4 year old Grayer, it seems like a perfect fit. What she didn't count on was that her job description would include basically parenting Grayer and being at the beck and call of his frigid, uptight, snobby and constantly busy-with -doing-nothing mother Mrs X. She soon finds out despite sacrificing her time, patience and sanity to care for their son, she is in fact almost invisible and dispensable to both Mrs X and the often absent Mr X. Even nannies have a tipping point, don't they?

What I liked about the book

First of all, I have actually seen bits and pieces of the movie starring Scarlett Johansson. When I saw that this book was less then RM 10 at BookXcess, I added it to my basket. It was quite a good read, humorous in a modern slightly cynical way. I enjoyed reading the unbelievable situations that Nanny often found herself in. The idea of naming the main characters Nanny, Mr X and Mrs X even, H.H (Harvard Hottie who lives on the 11th floor) is very original and quaint. The way the main characters uses her intelligence to tackle her little charge is often heartwarming and the bond between them genuinely speaks to the reader. The authors managed to capture the chaos of juggling too many tasks, an inconsiderate employer, living in the big city and struggling to find the boundaries of being involved in the lives of strangers exceptionally well.

What I disliked about the book

At times, I felt as if the scenarios were a bit contrived. I found that supporting characters (other than Nanny, Mrs X, Grayer) appeared slightly one-dimensional at times, even the main love interest. I think this is probably one of those rare cases where the book came more alive in the hands of a good screenwriter. 

A quote I liked from the book

Raising your child is hard work! Which you would know if you ever did it for more than five minutes at a time!

Rating: 3.5/5


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