Nanny, a 21 year old almost college graduate living in New York, nannys for families on the Upper East Side to pay her way through school and cultivate her interest in child development. After taking a job with Mrs. X caring for 4 year old Grayer, Nanny soon discovers she is working for a “Type C” mother; a woman who has 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.” As the work hours, tension, and confusion build Nanny struggles to balance her personal life and academic pursuits while protecting Grayer from the disintegration of his parents marriage and providing him with the attention, love, and childhood he is desperate for.
I greatly enjoyed the Nanny Diaries since I could relate to Nanny and her need to juggle work, academics, and her personal life and how difficult this becomes when dealing with a demanding, unsympathetic employer. I have never been a nanny but I have worked my fair share of customer service jobs. Bottom line: Service Work Sucks. Nanny’s job highlights the invisibility and dehumanization of service workers, most of whom are women, as they make sure other’s lives run smoothly to the point of erasing their own.
I wanted to scream with every additional thoughtless, selfish, or cruel action of Mrs. X towards her staff and child. At times I felt like a friend who would listen to Nanny’s day and then urge her to quiet. Conversely, I put myself in Nanny’s place and would respond with how much she needed the money, how difficult/time consuming it is to look for another job, and most of all how attached she was to Grayer; How could she leave this kid alone in such a cold, unloving family? He needed at least one person in his corner.
My copy of the Nanny Diaries was an ebook and I am deeply disappointed in the lack of editing for this particular version. Although I may be able to blame paragraph formating issues on my eReader, there is no excuse for the lack of editing throughout this book. At times, letters on main characters names have been changed, parentheses and numbers stand in for letters, or words like ‘the’ use the German “die” at times. I am still not sure what designer “Pucci” is but if it is anything like “Gucci” than I think it’ll catch on!
eBook copy issues aside, I recommend the Nanny Diaries for it’s wit, humor, sarcasm, and the accuracy of what it feels like to be starting out at 21, learning how to stand up for yourself and what you know is right.