Book Review: The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Nanny DiariesTitle: The Nanny Diaries
Author: Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Series: Nanny
Published: 2002
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 306
From: Drake Public Library book sale
Rating: 6/10

First off, I found The Nanny Dairies by Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin at a library book sale for a dime, so obviously, I had to buy it. I had seen the movie first, and thought it was very cute and entertaining, so I wanted to see what the book was like.

Putting aside the fact The Nanny Diaries was the duo’s debut novel, I didn’t like it at first. The prologue, or introduction, felt very disconnected from the rest of the book. I was a bit confused after reading that when the actual characters came into play because I thought the names and situation in the introduction was what had happened to the main character and who she met. Then, we got into the actual story, and the flow felt slightly off from the introduction.

However, once the story actually began, I felt the story flowed nicely, there was an ease with which I read each page, anticipating what happened next. I loved the little quips the character thinks or says, because it made her feel like a real person living in New York and struggling to make ends meet while going to graduate school. The characters themselves all felt real, and they were all put into real-life situations and acted accordingly, which was very nice to see.

On the other hand, I felt there were flaws within the story. I hate to categorize novels like this, but it felt too much to me like “chick-lit,” the kind of literature that’s stereotypically branded for the adult female demographic about a character trying her damnedest to make it, all the while juggling her work and personal life, and eventually finding the perfect man to spend the rest of her life with. That’s exactly what I got, and that’s not what I wanted.

I think with a story as interesting as being the nanny of a young boy living the golden life would open up so many possibilities, instead of sitting there reading what came off as journal entries in the life of the upper class nanny.

I am tempted to read the second in the two-novel series, which revolves around the child the main character nannied for, all grown up, trying to understand what happened in his life as a child. However, that may not be for awhile, based on my current reading list.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book as a mind-numbing, non-thinking kind of book. But, if I ever want something more than that, I will probably be turning to something Pulitzer Prize winning.

Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus co-wrote The Nanny Diaries based on their personal experiences as nannies to the upper class. Their novel was turned into a film by the same name in 2007 starring Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Laura Linney.

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