105 Ways to Give a Book

Thematic Thursday: Nanny Books For Adults

I love books about nannies, because these people don’t write nanny books to say how great and attentive the parents are. No, people write nanny books because the parents are awful — to the children and to the nanny — and to make some cash. So whenever I read one of these books, I feel instantly better about myself as a mother. At least I’m not as bad as that one, I can safely say.

You’ll Never Nanny in This Town AgainI liked The Nanny Diaries. I highly recommend it as a fictionalized funny/sad story of a nanny’s Manhattan experience. I liked White House Nannies. Again, recommended as a nonfiction look at a nanny service operating in the power center of Washington, DC. I had high hopes for You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again, by Suzanne Hansen, to cover the Hollywood version. Oh well.

Susie nannies for some important people, and she’s not afraid to name names. The lack of concern for the children’s privacy makes me uncomfortable, as the other books keep the identities under wraps. Susie is also a whiner, complaining and complaining about how she is treated, but never standing up for herself. She knew she was supposed to get a contract for her services, she didn’t, and it bit her in the butt. As she states many, many times throughout the book. She is very young and immature, and doesn’t do what she needs to do. I can understand the relationship of employer and employee, but all throughout the book I kept wishing for her to grow a spine and set some limits on the parents. While it seems the first nanny job was awful and they did take advantage of her, she didn’t help matters by being a doormat.

She learns some lessons from that experience as she moves on to nanny for Debra Winger and then Danny DeVito. They seem to have been good employers, though she finds things to complain about there too. Eventually she gives it up to — surprise! — write a book about the experience. Now that you’ve read a summary of her experience here, skip the book and read one of the other suggestions instead. Or tell me your favorite nanny book. (Is it the Melody Mayer series? You can tell me, because I read it too.)


Bill said...

As the resident movie-obsessive, I think this might be an appropriate point to mention that the movie adaptation of The Nanny Diaries (starring Scarlett Johansson) premieres April 20th. You can see the trailer here.

I register no opinion on this — just thought some people might be interested.

web said...

Good point about the privacy issues, I didn't think of that when I read it.

I thought the character in the Nanny Diaries really needed to stand up for herself too--though not nearly as much as the protagnonist of Citizen Girl, which made me just *insane*. Why not just have her wear a sign saying, "please walk all over me, I love it."

Unknown said...

I never do enough of my own reading... thanks for the book suggestions.

BTW: Can you LMK of some specific blogs you like about the teaching of writing? (I noticed you have a "Just for Writers" section... some of which I know. Do you know about any teachers who write about the practice of teaching writing?)