Older. Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ sequel to The Nanny Diaries is titled, Nanny Returns. The authors soar in the new novel when they present the ultimate New York City private school: from the heliport to the chandeliers. This school parody also captures the conflicted position of teachers in this context: expected to know everything about each child, whether private or not, and blamed for the child’s behavior, no matter what. A whole motif in the book involves Nan’s travails in trying to get contractors to renovate her old house, while her husband is usually away on business. That motif provided a backdrop, but had less of the humor of the school parody. The return of the X family was packed with sadness, even as the mighty receive a well-earned comeuppance. Unpacking the lives of unappealing characters and opening the shallowness of their lives, especially as children are expected to behave as adults, and as adults shirk all responsibility, became more grating than either funny or enlightening. Nanny Returns has some moments of biting humor, and a few cogent observations of the lives of the wealthy (like the short sellers’ inability to decide on the wall upon which the Chagall he always wanted should hang). Mostly, the book is a collection of episodes held loosely together. I closed the book feeling that I could have spent the time reading it doing almost anything else that would be more enjoyable.
Rating: Two-star (Mildly Recommended)
Click here to purchase Nanny Returns from amazon.com.