Friday, February 22, 2013

Not Quite a Book Review: The Nanny Diaries

The Nanny Diaries, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, has been out for a while.  It's not a recent release by any measure, hitting the shelves in 2002.  I recently discovered that there is a sequel.

I finally read it over Christmas, and a few things came painfully clear throughout the book:

Mrs. X (never identified by name by the authors) should not be a mother.  Mr. X is a habitual marital cheater and the clearest, saddest victim in this whole situation is the little boy, Grayer X.  Nanny is the only loving person in Grayer's life, the only one who treats him with any care.

I deeply resented the adults in McLaughlin and Kraus's book.  They are hugely self-absorbed, selfish, just terrible people.  Nanny is almost pathologically empathetic with her little charge, and her love interest, "Harvard Hottie," has a posse of outlandishly insulting, offensive friends.

I hated this book.  I hated its development, the climax and the conclusion.  The worst part of the conclusion is that in the end, no one has learned anything: the X's are still together - barely - and Grayer is desperately weeping for Nanny to come back to him.  In short, it was heartbreakingly realistic in that sometimes the end is eminently dissatisfying and sad.

Just flipping it open again to review and determine exactly what to say upsets me, sitting here and writing about it upsets me.  I understand that some stories need to be told and perhaps there are a lot of people out there who are completely unaware of how life moves on for the hoi polloi - those people should be bolted into a chair and forced to read this book over and over.  But I'm not one of those people.

I will never, ever read this book again.  Ms. McLaughlin, Ms. Kraus, I apologize if I offend you, but that's how it plays out.

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