Tania's Reviews > The Nanny Diaries

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
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's review
Aug 16, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, chick-lit

Given all the buzz about this book when it came out, I was desperate to read it, and I was thrilled when a friend loaned it to me. It wasn't bad - in fact, it was really good in some ways - but didn't live up to my expectations.

The book was easy to get in to; the beginning was really engaging. I thought the authors gave Nan a really clear voice. She seemed like a real person. Loved all the name dropping of fancy places in New York, which I've always wanted to visit. I thought the book was really funny in parts - some of the demands that Mrs. X placed on Nan were just bizarre. So in many ways it was effective satire. I also loved Nan's family. They provided a nice counterpoint to the insanity of her work situation. The storyline with Nan's boyfriend was surprisingly ineffective - if they'd stuck to her grandmother and parents, I'd have been happier.

The problem was the book was a bit schizphrenic. At times it seemed like just a lighthearted novel wanting to poke fun at high society. But as we got to know Grayer, and watch Nan bond with him, we started to care about him and his situation. So, as the family fell apart, and we saw how he was suffering, I had this need for something more - a bit more depth, somehow. In the end I was left with this vague sense of dissatisfaction. The authors tried, at times, to give the Mrs. X character a bit of depth and create a bit of sympathy for her, but it didn't work. I think the book might've been more effective if the authors hadn't bothered to give it the extra bit of seriousness, and stuck to writing an all out funny book, ala the Shopaholic series.

I do think this book is generally well written, and it is easy to read. It just isn't what I expected. So, bearing that in mind, I do think it's worth a look
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