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Nanny #1

The Nanny Diaries

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Wanted: 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 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 Hermès 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 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. Written by two former nannies, The Nanny Diaries deftly punctures the glamour of Manhattan's upper class.

306 pages, Paperback

First published March 13, 2002

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About the author

Emma McLaughlin

19 books921 followers
My partner, Nicki, and I have been writing together for 12 years. We're obsessed by what makes a satisfying story. I'm excited to hear from our readers what does it for them -- and what doesn't. As a working mom, the only book time I manage to steal these days is right before bed. I'm not the girl who can watch SVU and go to sleep with a smile. Ruling out kids/the economy/the world in peril as subject matter leaves sweeping Wharton epics or swift funny observations. The best is when a book makes you feel like you're still talking in the whee hours with your best college friend.

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5 stars
70,545 (18%)
4 stars
113,094 (29%)
3 stars
128,935 (34%)
2 stars
46,302 (12%)
1 star
18,647 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,465 reviews
September 23, 2007
It is one long anecdote disguised as a novel. A lot like "Devil Wears Prada," it is just a laundry list of incidents while working for the shallow, designer-clad perfectionist. It reads more like an article in Us Weekly, In Touch, and or the Mecca of all celebrity rag mag's, People.

What it is clearly the flaw in novels like "Nanny Diaries," and "Devil Wears Prada" is that the protagonist fumbles through the novel lacking any goal or purpose. Instead, these idealists, cute but not too cute young women lament over the horrors of working for demanding woman and display their own shallowness by painstakingly describing every brand and designer as if reciting some holy mantra. However, what I'll give Nanny Credit for, over Prada, is that at least Nanny is short and concise. Truly a gossip column of "did you know…" whereas Devil painfully goes on an on.

It’s a definitely a light read, requiring very little from the reader. However, from a cultural perspective it is interesting how we continue to vilify the successful woman and how we must focus on her flaws. Even more interesting is how the one doing the undercutting is other women. I don't dare pretend that these hardened woman don't exist but rather that there is now a whole market exploiting them.
Profile Image for Tea Jovanović.
Author 410 books673 followers
May 10, 2013
Čitaocima nepoznata činjenica, ali živa istina... Narodna knjiga i Laguna "tukle" su se oko ovog naslova... :) Na moju žalost, jer sam tada još bila u NK, dobila ju je NK... A Laguna je "čapila" meni dražu knjigu "Čik me uhvati"... Volela bih da je situacija bila obrnuta... :) Ali ni jedni ni drugi se nismo usrečili s prodajom tih knjiga a zbog "tuče" su nas papreno koštale u autorskim pravima... Sada posle 10 i kusur godina od tada mogu hladne glave da sagledam neke stvari... Te dve mlade devojke (koje sam upoznala u vreme objavljivanja ovog romana) bile su trenutni hit... i mnogu su "koštale"... Deset godina kasnije malo ko se i seća ove knjige a kamoli da mu je omiljena ili da bi sada mogla da zainteresuje neku novu publiku... Zato sam se uvek klonila toga da kupujem knjige za koje sam bila sigurna da ne mogu izdržati sud vremena i čitaoca... :)
Profile Image for Stacey.
266 reviews449 followers
March 31, 2008
This book was a gift while I was working as a nanny. At first it was funny, with all of the little observations that all nannies make- mainly about a certain, small subsection of women who hire nannies- the wealthy, entitled, narcissistic bitches.

As the story progresses, it becomes obvious that the children are the losers, the parents have no business being parents, and the nannies do nothing to help make the family a better place. Instead they whine about mistreatment, go along with abuse, and try to replace the parent with their own immature version of love.

The account was infuriating because there was a great deal of truth in it, and it made me so upset (recognizing the same characteristics in children, nannies and parents of my acquaintance,) that I finally refused to finish the last few chapters.

What made the whole thing worse is that the book is written in a vain, selfish-masquerading-as-selfless, preening, whiny voice, that made me want to reach through the page and tell her to grow some cojones (and take a writing class or two.)

Thanks but no thanks, this book is a binner.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
November 16, 2017
The Nanny Diaries (Nanny #1), Emma McLaughlin
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و ششم ماه سپتامبر سال 2016 میلادی
عنوان: خاطرات دایه؛ اما مک لافین؛ نیکلا کراوس؛ برگردان: میترا معتضد؛ تهران، البرز، 1383، در 497 ص؛
در این داستان خانم جوانی برای مراقبت و پرستاری از پسر بچه چهار ساله خانواده ثروتمندی استخدام می‌شود و باقی ماجرا. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
394 reviews677 followers
February 7, 2017
I read this book back when I was in college. This was actually the very first non-middle grade English book I ever bought! I had only bought some of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries before then. But that was about it and none of that felt as "grown up" to me as The Nanny Diaries. Hmm, I just realized they were both 'diaries', huh? and to think I've never been one to keep any sort whatsoever! Anywho...

I still remember how I was so awed by the writing from the very first chapter: it was so sophisticated for my college-aged-English-as-a-foreign-language-mind. Too sophisticated in fact, I remembered using a dictionary manyyy times throughout reading the whole thing.

I was tempted to go back and see if it really was that good or I was just awfully deficient in my English at that point in time. And I certainly will, if only I could actually find the damn book!

Ps. I decided to lower my rating to 4 stars since it was probably my impressionable self who gave it all 5 stars at first. Although it will remain in my favorite shelf for mostly nostalgic reason ;)

Ps2. Grayer was such a cute name!

Profile Image for Jennifer Holland.
10 reviews5 followers
August 20, 2007
I read this during a series of fifteen-minute breaks at my job. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a bit of a grudge against any book packaged as chick-lit, the literary equivalent of low-cal fast food. However, I thoroughly enjoyed both The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing and Prep, and understand that genuinely good fiction is sometimes whored out with candy-colored covers so they'll sell, and I'm always happy to be taken by surprise when that's the case. Not so with this book. Now, I love the blood-letting of rich people just as much as the next person, but I got no satisfaction here. I hated the protagonist just as much as the mother for never standing up for herself or little Grayson, and I found her relationship with the Harvard Hottie (H.H.? Is that a nod to Humbert Humbert, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus? I promise, it will be lost on your readers.) completely implausible. It seemed like the authors were attempting to draw some sort of parallel between their relationship and that of Grayson's parents, i.e., this could be you in twenty years, Nanny, but then they chickened out. And the ending is terrible! Nanny can't even tell off that bitch to her face, she has to videotape it!

Profile Image for Madeline.
775 reviews47k followers
December 9, 2007
If you must insist on reading chick lit, I recommend this one. There's a romantic subplot and lots of shopping and snarky best-friend banter, of course, but the main relationship in the story is between the main character (called Nan or Nanny by everyone in the story) and her four-year-old charge, Grayer.
Both authors used to be nannies in New York City, and you can tell they really enjoyed venting their frustration about past employers in this book. There's the controlling, neurotic mother, the absent father, the evil mistress who leaves her panties in the family's apartment (leading to a hilarious scene where Nanny enlists two of her friends to help her comb the apartment searching for the panties), and a whole cast of nannies who suffer every kind of abuse from both their employers and their charges. The writing goes from hilarious to heartbreaking as Nanny experiences every ridiculous aspect of the hidden lives of the super-rich.

I would also recommend this book to anyone who likes the Gossip Girl series: it's a good opportunity to look inside the same rich Manhattan society, but from the (much more interesting) perspective of "the help."
Profile Image for alana.
198 reviews49 followers
November 13, 2009
This is what happens when you go to a Goodreads book swap and pick up a trashy book, thinking "Oh, i'll read this on the beach someday, it looks mindless." And then you start reading it before bed one night to rest your brain. And then you stay up for three hours reading it, not because it's good, but because it has a plot that is clear and fast-moving, and that is more than you can say for all those high-falutin books that win awards for talking about the moonlight falling on a burning rabbit. And then you don't get any sleep and are tired at work because you were staying up reading The Nanny Diaries, for crying out loud. Does that mean I liked it? I guess. It won't win any prizes for writing poetically about moonlight falling on burning rabbits, but I read it all, in two days. Curse you, Goodreads book swap!
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,889 reviews428 followers
April 29, 2020
'The Nanny Diaries' by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (ex-nannies) is an account of working for Donald and Melania Trump as one of many of Barron's nannies. Oh, wait! Silly me. This is not about the Trumps at all! The family, Mr. and Mrs. X, which is fictionally profiled by the main character, Nan, in this fiction novel is a composite version of the MANY Park Avenue families for whom the authors have actually been nannies. This book is a fictional account of working for a fictional wealthy New York City family whose behaviors are strictly a generic version of Park Avenue apartment owners! Since the book was published in 2002, it couldn't possibly be specifically about the President of the United States and his wife Melania despite any vague resemblance. The book is simply a generic exposé of the many many many wealthy people who live in Manhattan's Park Avenue luxury apartments and who try to pretend they married for love and not for financial gain and public image.

Most Park Avenue men are perceived in real life as powerful financiers who indulge themselves in constant sexual escapades to relax from their labors on Wall Street and business endeavors despite being married to beautiful ex-models who are as shallow and vapid as they are beautiful. You know, those eternally fashion-conscious and dieting trophy wives who are continually exchanged for younger and thinner blank-faced-by-constant-botox-injections dollwomen as the aging financier gets more and more obese, balding and ever more narcissistic. Nothing like the Trumps. Pardon me.

Poor Barren, uh, pardon me again, I mean Grayer, the fictional four-year-old for whom Nan has been hired to act like a real mother. For Nan, the child Grayer is a person and a toddler. To the X's, Grayer is someone in the way of their extremely competitive social life, especially for Mrs. X. Grayer is messy, loud and needy of constant attention.

Mrs. X cannot spare a moment for Grayer, though. Plus, Grayer's sticky fingers and desires for hugs mess up Mrs. X's minks and their latest designer furniture. Mrs. X has to concentrate on maintaining her beauty and on keeping Mr. X in the marriage. Whatever that takes. Since Mrs. X knows nothing about business, she concentrates on being useful in other ways to Mr. X - like on being thin and thinner, keeping the apartment and their stuff spotlessly photogenic for business functions ('party' is a word which doesn't seem to fit these gatherings) purchasing the newest in-season high-fashion clothes all of the other trophy wives are wearing. Mr. X has a straying eye, constantly checking out the other trophy-wife possibilities. Children are not part of his self-indulgent lifestyle, even his own kids, unless they are made to suit his public image. Children are strictly for Christmas family photos taken for business purposes until they are sufficiently trained up to be the picture- perfect accessory every businessman who has made it has to have for business. Like a wife and several concubines, uh, mistresses, and $100,000 watches and cufflinks, and a Park Avenue apartment.

Lucky Grayer! Mr. X pays for music lessons, private schools, martial arts/swimming exercise classes and French language lessons, while Mrs. X constantly shops and attends charity lunches, both making sure their kid will one day make the family proud by not needing either Mr. or Mrs. X for anything beyond red-carpet photographs for their political base! As the gofer servants, nannies, housecleaners, and cooks are constantly being fired whenever Mrs. X is unduly disturbed by Mr. X's lack of interest more than he normally demonstrates in Mrs. X, and as a side effect of this being Grayer cannot attach to anyone for love and affection, Grayer will certainly grow up meeting family expectations as a cardboard cutout of a person and son!

After all, it takes a hollowed-out narcissistic person to be one of the tribe of insensitive selfish wealthy people like Mr. and Mrs. X!

I hated the wealthy characters in this book, but nonetheless it describes reality. I was a secretary to Presidents and Vice-presidents of major telephone and insurance companies. This is how they really acted.
Profile Image for Cheri.
27 reviews14 followers
April 26, 2008
Awful. I found the plot (if you can call it that) predictable and unimaginative and the characters flat. BO-ring. Wish I could get those hours back of my life. Can't believe they made a movie out of it. Although, if there are as many people watching "American Idol" as they say there are, I'm sure there's a ready audience for the movie.
Profile Image for Amy.
222 reviews3 followers
November 3, 2007
I absolutely LOVED this book!! OMG..I wanted to kill the wicked Mrs. X! I wish Nan would've had more back bone!! Wonderful & entertaining! Highly recommends!!
Profile Image for BAM the enigma.
1,853 reviews360 followers
September 10, 2018
Audio #120

Sometimes I need a lil chick lit in my life. And this book fit perfectly
these horror stories can on,y be way too true. And honestly if I had someone hanging around I’d probably ask her to do an occasional errand for me too. I’m terrible. BUT I’d be appreciative. This book showed just how easy it is for people to be taken for granted and how bending over backward for someone doesn’t make her loyal to you.
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,395 reviews145 followers
January 14, 2017

The Nany Diaries is the first book in the Nanny series by American authors and ex-nannies, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. We start with a nanny called Nanny. Then we have parents Mr X and Mrs X, and their four-year-old son, Grayer. And a potential boyfriend who never gets beyond HH (=Harvard Hottie). So, ignore the silly names, and wade through the interview experiences, the ridiculous demands of these ultra-rich socialites and their first-world problems, and the brand name soup, and there’s actually a reasonable story. Which is that the nanny often has a much better relationship with the children than either of the parents do. And that all that money doesn’t ensure a stable marriage or a happy childhood.

Nanny lacks backbone (but not self-pity) and makes quite a few unwise decisions. Nonetheless, her dedication to her four-year-old charge is genuine. The Xes are, no doubt, an amalgamation of the worst parents the authors have encountered: pretentious, shallow and selfish. This tale gives the reader some laughs, some head-shaking and some gasps at the behaviour of the rich. Is it entertaining enough that readers will want to read the sequel? Doubtful.
Profile Image for Krissys.
1,424 reviews86 followers
February 28, 2016
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 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 Hermès 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.


My Review:

The X's and friends don't see the people that sacrifice everything including their own personal lives and families to ensure that these people sitting on cushions can continue looking down their noses at employees they consider below them meant to be unseen and unheard.

The X's and others aren't equipped to take responsibility for anything including their own children and can't see beyond the color filling their bank accounts.

The psychological turmoil these people cause their children by introducing and removing nannies and caretakers from their lives as easily as they do their husbands, wives and lovers is something you can't help but shake your head over.

You see the sense of disconnect between parent and child, the neglect, the complete sense of self centered selfishness that the X's are corrupted by as they push their children onto poor unsuspecting servants who despite their level of experience in the field really have no idea just how bad some of these people really can be.

Eventually it begins to wear on and test Nanny's defenses, her patience, and her morals. I liked that Nanny tried to stick with it for little G but in the end a person can only endure so much before you hit a wall.

I really like how Nanny went out at the end because you think 'way to go, good for you.'

I was happy that after being so tolerant the entire time that Nanny finally spoke up. I mean really. Someone needed to say it.

The Nanny Diaries was a book I wasn't sure I would like at first but once I started it couldn't put it down until it was finished.

Its also a story that confirms my opinion that many upper crust people in society shouldn't breed.

My Rating:

Reviewed By:
Krissys Bookshelf Reviews




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Profile Image for Leftbanker.
804 reviews306 followers
September 2, 2019
I suppose that I am one of the few heterosexual males who actually read The Nanny Diaries, or at least part of it before I wanted to make my own guillotine and start lopping off the heads of America’s vulgar ultra-rich. The only reason I tried to read it was because I was going through a phase when I lived in Seattle of noticing the books that people were reading on the bus, or in coffee shops, or where ever. I wanted to get a feel for what folks were buying. A very disheartening exercise at times.

The book is one of the least interesting things I have ever come across. It tells the story of a young girl, recently graduated from college, who goes to work as a nanny for an over-privileged cunt* in Manhattan. In the movie the nanny actually allows the child to abuse her sexually and physically. Little Lord Fuck-face pulls her pants down in an early scene that I saw before turning it off. I would have put a cigarette out in his eye for that one. See if he tries that again. No wonder these kids grow up to be date rapists and poorly qualified U.S. presidents.

You get the feeling from the book and the movie that you are supposed to feel a sense of awe concerning the lifestyle of the over-privileged hag. I mean, this is what we all want, right? This is what we all aspire to be in our dreams, to be super-rich and outsource every single human endeavor and emotion, to become sandblasted and airbrushed to within an inch of our pilates-toned asses, and to shop—as if this were some wonderful form of self-expression.

I didn’t get very far along in the story in the novel before throwing it in the trash (disguised as the Seattle Library book deposit). Of course, I was too embarrassed to even check it out so I just speed-read it among the stacks. I watched even less of the sickening movie version of the shitty novel. If you are thinking that I sound a little bitter, you can bet your ass that I have been made bitter by this vile piece of trash. The book made a vague attempt to scold the women who make up America’s new aristocracy. More than anything else it was obvious that the authors just want to walk in the same shoes as their over-privileged masters who have closets full of designer heels.

I really think that it is time for America to stop and take a very good look at the way things are progressing and decide if we want to keep on this course of allowing the top 1% of the citizenry to make all of the rules and call all of the shots. The new American elite make the Czars of Russia look like serfs. I suppose that just about everyone in America thinks that eventually they, too, will be part of this new elite class, the sickeningly stupid progeny of inherited wealth. The fact that so many people voted for one of these nitwits to be our president confirms this theory.

I have always felt that everyone in the world should be forced to clean their own toilet. People need to be reminded on a daily basis that we are all filthy animals, one and all, whether you are Bill Gates or Bin Laden, Madonna or Hilary Clinton. George Bush should do nothing but clean toilets all day.

*I thought a lot about that word "cunt" and the slightly embellished version of "over-privileged cunt" but I just couldn't come up with a more vitriolic tag for this sub-culture. If you have something more offensive and vulgar please let me know. Sorry, people who treat other humans as slaves make me very angry.
Profile Image for Candy Boisvert.
93 reviews3 followers
June 19, 2008
Title: The Nanny Diaries
Author: Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Copyright date: 2002
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
How many pages: 306 pgs
How long it took me to read: 10 days
Category: Fiction
I learned about this book from: Seeing it around Chapter's and then being released as a movie

This book was purchased at: McNeely and Robinson
This book is: for people who are thinking about becoming a Nanny
Other books by these authors: Dedication and Citizen girl
Favorite characters: Grayer, Nanny, Harvard Hottie and Josh
When and Where the story takes place: New York
Plot in a nutshell: Nanny takes a job taking care of a little boy who's parents are completely horrible parents and care more about their money than their son.
Main characters: Grayer, Nanny, and Mrs. X
What I liked best: It was such a good book, I actually WANTED to read it.
What I liked least: How true this book is. Parents like that should get a rude awakening.

Overall rating: I am so glad for this book. I was getting ready to become a Nanny but this made me come to the realisation of who I will be working for and I know this is an exaggeration of what being a Nanny is like but it's true...why can't these parents take care of their own damn kids?! Also, the ending kind of pissed me off, I kind of want to know what happens next.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
6 reviews
January 25, 2009
I must say didn't you feel like slapping Mrs. X and shaking Nanny!
The abuse of power by the richy rich Mrs. X was amazing, even more so was Nanny taking it and staying.
It was touching seeing the relationship between her and 'Grover'. The book left me feeling sad for him and his mother constantly changing his caretakers at the faintest perceived slight.
Profile Image for Allison ☾.
314 reviews14 followers
February 14, 2018
"Where is the child in this home? Where is the woman in this mother? And how, exactly, am I to fit in?"

4.5 stars. I loved this book very much. It is sarcastic, funny, heartfelt, frustrating and sweet.

Nan is a 21 year old student at NYU who takes a job as a nanny for an upper eastside Manhattan family. The mom (Mrs. X) is high strung and high maintenance, and prefers to take a 'backseat' parenting role. The father (Mr. X) is never home, has a roaming eye and a short temper. And then there's the son, Nanny's charge, Grayer.

"Grayer, who's your best friend at school? I ask.
"Shut up, stupidhead," he says, kicking out at my shins. I walk the remainder of the way well outside his field of stroller vision.

Despite being mistreated, overworked and underpaid, Nan falls in love with Grayer and becomes a surrogate mother figure for him. This book explores the lifestyle dynamic of Manhattan (which fascinated me considering I've never set a foot near New York City) and the dynamic of family relationships. I only deducted .5 stars because our narrator seems to be 99% snark and only 1% emotional human being at times.
Profile Image for Daniel Myatt.
588 reviews47 followers
March 19, 2021
Having never worked as a Nanny yet having friends who did, I found this book perfect faction (based on my friends horror stories)

Well written, funny and tragic yet constantly keeping me entertained and on the edge of my seat as we all knew Mrs X was a super bitch and would be taking the pee through out.

In the vein of Devil Wears Prada yes! But actually better in my opinion (and yes this is my 3rd read of the book)
Profile Image for Weng.
85 reviews
October 22, 2015
5/5.0 stars

Please read the blurb and tell me this book isn't already a promisingly witty read. I just got the sequel Nanny Returns which I will be reading very soon, hopefully, with teenage Grayer X seeking Nanny out for her abandonment (her sacking, actually).

I live in the Philippines where nannies are widespread because, I assume, everybody needs a career to elevate their lifestyle and to support daily demands in a developing country such as ours. As a result, nannies tend to be surrogate parents and I think maybe they are sometimes undervalued. It's their job, sure, but it's a job not even the actual parents can do or have any time for.

The Nanny Diaries is a winner with its humor and message. The book is better than the movie. Read this, enjoooyy.

Profile Image for Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm.
1,256 reviews106 followers
October 21, 2015
Can I just comment about the movie instead of the book?

Sorry, my bad.. It’s just frustrating that I found that I liked the movie adaptation better after I’ve finally read this much-hyped story about nannies and their bitch-employers.. Add to the fact that Harvard Hottie was portrayed by no less than Chris Evans who is certainly a hottie!!

Take note: I read this book first before I watched the movie.

This book gave me mixed feelings after reading it. True, all I wanted was for Nan to tell them (the X’s off) face-to-face about all her problems and complains regarding her employers but all she did in the end is leave a stupid tape that is sooo sugar coated. Furthermore, I was a little distressed with the attitude of the “parents” in the story, to the point where I almost had to put the book down. Ugh.. I was kind of annoyed until the end. I guess that’s the reason why they changed a lot of the story in the film.

The writing was good, though. Clearly the authors have experienced a lot in doing nanny duties and they had successfully delivered their story and message to the readers. This might be a fun read for some people, maybe former nannies that can relate to the protagonist. Me, what I really liked in the story is little Grayer, his resilience and patience and cuteness and maturity with the situation he was stuck in. Poor little boy, I would likely adopt you if your parents won’t wake up after I bash them in the head.
Profile Image for The Dusty Jacket.
286 reviews26 followers
July 25, 2020
“There are essentially three types of nanny gigs. Type A, I provide ‘couple time’ a few nights a week for people who work all day and parent most nights. Type B, I provide ‘sanity time’ a few afternoons a week to a woman who mothers most days and nights. Type C, I’m brought in as one of a cast of many to collectively provide twenty-four/seven ‘me time’ to a woman who neither works nor mothers. And her days remain a mystery to us all.” Nan would categorize Mrs. X as definitely a Type C. In her final year at NYU, Nan is juggling school, her roommate’s obnoxious and hairy boyfriend, a self-absorbed boss, a promising romance, and a precocious four-year old by the name of Grayer. As Mrs. X becomes increasingly more demanding—while blurring the lines between hired help and servant—Nan begins to wonder how much she can possibly bear for the sake of a single child.

Authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus have worked for over thirty New York City families and claim that their story of Mrs. X and her family is entirely fictional and not based on an actual family. Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief and hope that’s true. To imagine such a cold, disconnected, passive-aggressive, self-entitled woman and an equally despicable, philandering, and narcissistic man actually being parents that possess such a profound and everlasting effect on another human being is beyond the pale and frightening to think about. As loathsome characters go, let’s not leave out our poor and hapless Nanny…Nan for short. Although she has a genuine regard for Grayer and clearly has his welfare in mind, one cannot overlook her obvious lack of a spine, as well as dignity and self-respect. One of my biggest pet peeves is a person—either real or imaginary—who complains constantly about his or her current circumstances, but does not a single, solitary thing to remedy it (Kathy Nicolo from "House of Sand and Fog" by Andre Dubus III quickly comes to mind). Nan hates her employer and despises her current living situation yet she refuses to quit or move. Either she’s unimaginably loyal or really likes being miserable. Unfortunately, when Nan is miserable, she shares her misery with us and then WE become miserable and unless you’re Job, being subjected to perpetual pain and suffering is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

Don’t get me wrong. "The Nanny Diaries" isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read and it does contain some self-deprecating humor, but the deplorable supporting characters and a whiny main character make this an overall annoying read resulting in an unpleasant (and yes, miserable) experience. The only character with heart who deserves any semblance of sympathy is Grayer who represents any child who was conceived to be nothing more than an accessory worn on the arm versus a being to be held in your heart.

If you want an insight into the world of high-priced fashion designers and luxury brand names (Chanel, Prada, Judith Leiber, Lalique, Ferragamo, Armani, Gucci), then this is the book for you. If you are looking for a heartwarming and feel-good story about nannies and the children in their care, amble down the children’s section of your local library or bookseller and check out the adventures of Mary Poppins or Nurse Matilda. You’ll find nary a Hermès bag or Manolo Blahnik pump in these stories, but you might feel a little better about the world and those among us who have more money than manners…unless you like feeling miserable and then the Book of Job is right up your alley.
Profile Image for Belinda Vlasbaard.
3,269 reviews56 followers
June 2, 2022
3,75 stars - Dutch paperback
Many years ago, i read it as an Ebook in English. Later back in Holland I found the dutch book in a libary and reading this book dredged up many memories of my time in the Bath England as a nanny. This is a thoroughly absorbing story and in my opinion, a very truthful one. I was surprised at just how much this book affected me - a very emotional, bitter-sweet story and one I would definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
May 5, 2018
Now I know I've seen the movie before but I honestly didn't remember much about it. So going into this book I had no expectations - I just wanted to like it.

The Nanny was kind of funny and I did enjoy reading it. However, Mr and Mrs X were meh to me. They just didn't seem like realistic parents. They were terrible ones but again, I doubt any parent would act like them. Even if they were living in New York.

I loved Grayer. I could totally see any kid acting the way he did in this book. Especially if that kids parents were anything like Grayer's. I get that his mom was obsessed with his image.. but he's a damn kid. His parents just frustrated the hell out of me and it made me feel so bad for this kid. Yes, it's fictional but damn.. poor Grayer. He deserves better parents.

The Nanny was a likable character. I loved her relationship with Grayer throughout the book. Luckily for her, her parents were actually relatable and realistic. Maybe they can adopt Grayer?!? Jack and Caroline were amazing. I wish I got to see more of them in this book!!

Then there was the "romance" part of this book. Now that part in the movie I remember! However, the book didn't really hold my interest on it. It seemed like a good idea but in the end I lost my interest rather quickly and wanted to finish the book.

Now besides enjoying this book - there were a ton of things that annoyed me to no end. Again, Grayer's parents who should't even be parents. Then there was the whole nannies have no back bone because they just take the abuse from their employers. Like no, not cool.

Overall, it was an okay book with likable characters. My favorite by far is Grayer because he was an adorable little shit.
Profile Image for Lada Moskalets.
311 reviews43 followers
June 22, 2019
Сумна і зла книжка, хай читачів не введе в оману весела обкладинка і знята за мотивами комедія. Історія студентки-няні, що працює для багатих родин з Аппер Іст Сайд в Нью-Йорку, намагається заповнити порожнечу в житті дітей, батьки яких ігнорують їх трохи більше ніж цілком. Але розуміє, що всі її зусилля загалом марні.
Є книжки, які ведуть читача від стереотипізації негативного героя до його глибшого розуміння та співчуття. Тут це не є метою, спершу ми не дуже розуміємо і підсміємося над багатими батьками хлопчика, які уникають спілкування з дитиною для участі у батьківських комітетах. Потім ми їх ненавидимо.
Але читається з задоволенням - книжка дотепна, спостережлива і цікава, зокрема дуже влучно показано метання головної героїні, яка втомлюється від хлопчика, але попри це розуміє його вразливість і любить його
January 3, 2012
I thought this would be just another 'chick lit' type book but it wasn't at all and was a surprisingly good, interesting read! The story was somewhat depressing when it was supposed to be funny: I felt really bad for poor Grayer because of the way his parents completely ignored him; and when I think of all the 'poor little rich kids' out there, it just breaks my heart to think of how lonely they must feel... I know this is just a book but I'm pretty sure it pictures life in those circles fairly accurately. The ending is a bit abrupt but it didn't bother me that much, I felt it added reality to the book by avoiding an "all's well that ends well" type ending.
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
July 26, 2009
Tata J recommended this book to me saying that he enjoyed this very much. This even came with two other books about nannies - WHITE HOUSE NANNIES and YOU'LL NEVER NANNY IN THIS TOWN AGAIN. So, after just reading the tearjerker in the love story of Van and Davy, I thought I needed to have something very light. Something that will make me laugh.

And laugh I did. In the first 10 pages of this book, I was laughing at the wee hours of a Sunday morning. The Interview part is really funny. I also like the scene when the Nanny was given earmuffs by Mrs. X for Christmas when she was expecting to get cash gift. I became intrigued on how good those parts so later in that morning, I googled both the book and the authors and I learned that this will soon be made into a movie. I will surely see that one.

Then I also learned from the other Goodreads members that this is a GIRL LITT book! Oh my, so this is my first in this genre. All these years, I've been ignoring the shopaholics and travelling pants type of books but you brought this book to me, Tata J!

In fairness, the book has its moments - the hilarious parts. However, after the first third of the book, it became predictable: the Nanny and the previously bratty Grayer developing a strong bond. Then the last chapter drowned the whole effort. The Nanny facing the camera and giving the lecture to Mr and Mrs X. For me, it is too preachy to end a good story.

I am still keeping the two other books. When I read another depressing story, I will still turn to them. And yes, bespren, here is where I got the expression "OMG!". Ha ha ha!
Profile Image for Alison.
76 reviews43 followers
March 26, 2009
This book mirrors The Devil Wears Prada, offering a glimpse into the world of Upper East Side WASPs. Like DWP, we see this opulent lifestyle through a college aged woman who grudgingly agrees to work for the upper crust in hopes of improving her career outlook. But it turns out rich people are rude, inconsiderate, manipulative, and really, really bad parents.

I might have rated this book a little higher if the parents hadn't been so awful. Not once in the story did they seem more than dimly aware that their son existed. It's tiring to read about the self-absorbed (though not nearly as exhausting as working for them).

Like DWP, we expect a telling-off of the nasty employers by the end of the story. In both books, instead of feeling satisfying when the girl finally stands up for herself, it feels empty. The wealthy jerks will write off her final outburst as the ramblings of commoner. They'll just find the next gullible girl to steamroll into submission.

This book has lots of great details about work as a nanny (the preschool application process is pretty terrifying - I'm not sure at what age my parents started reading The Wall Street Journal aloud to me, but obviously it wasn't soon enough), and it is well written for its genre, but left such a yucky aftertaste that I can't recommend it.
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