“Nanny Returns” ~ Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
The authors of “The Nanny Diaries” return with a sequel set 12 years after the conclusion of the original novel. For those that need a refresher, the first book concluded with Nanny being fired and ranting her face off at a Nanny-cam, telling Mrs X to get a freakin’ grip and try parenting for a change. Unlike the movie version, there isn’t a sunshiny ending and we’re left with the thought of Grayer feeling abandoned by yet another positive female figure.
TxtingMrDarcy Notes Version: Nan and her now-husband Harvard Hottie (aka “Ryan”) have returned to New York after living abroad. They’ve bought a ginormous nightmare of a house that needs Ty Pennington-sized renovations, and she’s attempting to get a “consulting” business off the ground. Whatever that means. For the purpose of the story, it’s that she’s going to be an emotional punching bag for a private high school full of overpriviledged brats and whores. When Grayer shows up on her doorstep one night, drunk and asking why she left him, Nan has to come to terms with the fact that she still feels guilty about being fired. Um, why? His parents were ASSHOLES, their friends were ASSHOLES and she almost ruined her life.
However, Nan has conveniently forgotten this fact and feels responsible for the fact that Grayer is screwed up. She offers to help his younger brother Stilton get into boarding school, and everything snowballs from there. Of course Stilton is a young man with a load of personality that somehow manages to come off as more adorable than annoying.
Before Nan can say “Chanel,” her life is completely out of control again and she ends up at a drunken house party in the Hamptons with both X kids and the botoxed elite…
Like my weekly viewings of “The Bachelor,” this book was a trainwreck and I couldn’t bring myself to look away. Yes, it was a bit formulaic (some of the plot points from the first book are reused with slight twists – Mr X’s philandering, Mrs X’s habit of faking illness/pregnancy), but the little details that the authors throw in make for a very fun read. A sex scandal at the school Nan is consulting for has both frustrating and funny results- students form online organizations like the “Mrs Twill Teabags Nazis” site and other creative/inappropriate/racist groups. Instead of being enraged that their kids are ASSHOLES (not to mention messed-the-hell-up), the “grown-ups” are only worried about how it will affect their chances at getting into college. As a fly on the wall into the lives of these people who should NOT be parents and make every effort to avoid taking responsibility for their children, part of you wants to laugh and part wants to throttle the living daylights out of them. When two students overdose before a benefit event, their parents reaction is “She won’t make the same mistake twice,” and “I am dragged all the way up here from Palm Beach in the middle of the night for this bullshit? He is paying me back. Every cent.”
Yes, they are intentionally portrayed in a stereotypical light, but one is forced to wonder exactly how much of this is exaggerated to any degree. Do those born to such heights really feel themselves above any of society’s rules?
Watching Nan’s life quickly spiral out of her control again is familiar territory, but again her heart seems to be in the right place. She trusts people too easily and gives them credit that they can improve themselves or change over the years. Thinking that adopting the X kids is the answer? Not so much.
Verdict: If you were a fan of the original, and chick lit in general, you’ll enjoy this second peek into the lives of the elite. The stereotypes portrayed, from the well-meaning teachers, to the private school brats and the Hollywood starlet mistress are entertainingly drawn and the label-dropping is fun. By comparison, the “normal” characters who are struggling to make ends meet seem so healthy it’s ridiculous. The phrase “Money can’t buy everything” kept repeatedly coming to mind while reading this book.
Were you in my head? That is exactly the review I would have written…totally agree on all points.
txtingmrdarcy Oh yay! I’m glad we’re on the same page with this one! I did get frustrated with Nan again, but it was too much fun to see what would happen next to stop reading!
- Oh me too, frustrated! Why didn’t she stand up for that teacher at the richy-rich school? Why didn’t she tell off those snooty friends at the party? why didn’t she quit that darn “consulting” job??? But yeah, couldn’t turn away. txtingmrdarcy Oh yay! I’m glad we’re on the same page with this one! I did get frustrated with Nan again, but it was too much fun to see what would happen next to stop reading!
You’re totally right. I did feel a little unsatisfied at the end, and those are all reasons why. And did she REALLY need Grayer to tell her that she would make a good mom?