The Nanny Diaries by Emma Mclaughlin & Nicola Kraus

A few days ago I read The Nanny Diaries. Since then I couldn’t stop thinking about this book. It is a very humoristic, sarcastic novel which gives you a complete different view of a nanny’s live. ‘The Nanny Diaries’ follows a 21-year old college student who takes a job as a nanny at a very wealthy New York upper-class family to put herself through her last year of school. They turn out to be the family from hell and she finds herself juggling between the parent’s problems and her own very hard class schedule. Meanwhile she has to take care of their five-year-old son. Yeah right, this sounds very cliché. My first impression of the book wasn’t very nice, to me it seemed to be an average romantic, drama story of which you can find thousands. Despite my impression I took the effort to read it and in fact it turned out to be a very funny and authentic story. I laughed at almost every small detail in the book. It shows the dark side of the New York upper class.

Everybody knows more or less the meaning of the word nanny.                       To be precise: ‘A nanny is employed by a family in either live-in or live-out basis. The function of a nanny is to be responsible for all care of the children in the home in a largely unsupervised setting.’       

Everybody knows more or less the meaning of the word nanny. To be precise: ‘A nanny is employed by a family in either live-in or live-out basis. The function of a nanny is to be responsible for all care of the children in the home in a largely unsupervised setting.’  This definition seems obvious but there are also other meanings for the word nanny. Another definition states: ‘A nanny is a children’s nurse’. A nurse is a healthcare professional focused on the care of individuals. Well that’s funny, a nanny has to take care of children, brings them to school, reads aloud children books but is not an educated healthcare professional. So a nanny is not a nurse and a nurse is not a nanny.                      

 One of the most typical rules in the New York- high society is that is isn’t appropriate to talk about the word ‘nanny’. Rule number one: As a nanny you never say you work for someone. Being a nanny is not a job but a privilege. The funniest thing is when I looked for more information about the book I found a comment from Nicola Kraus, the author who wrote this book. She says: ‘A nanny is in a lot of ways just like a prostitute: both gives affection in return for money.’ 

The same for p rostitues: they never say they are working as a prostitutes but everybody knows, suspects it. In de upper-class world nannies never say they are working as a nanny but everybody knows that they are taking care of children from rich families.                                                            

So even if you don’t want to say the word nanny just read it!

Marijn Covers

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