The Nanny Diaries is a delight

Jan. 22, 2004, midnight | By Caitlin O'Brien | 17 years ago

Complete with an adorable four-year-old boy, a "Harvard Hottie", and a lovable nanny, The Nanny Diaries by Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin is a perfect book for curling up with in front of the fire on a rainy day.

The New York Times #1 Bestseller is a delightful tale of a college senior (NYU), aptly named Nanny, working as one for wealthy New York families. Loosely based on the experiences of the authors, the story follows Nanny through her work for the X family. Although she only signs on for a part time job, Nanny ends up raising the little blonde boy, Grayer.

Soon after Nanny starts working for the X family she begins to realize what she is getting herself into. This is where the story really gets good. At Mr. X's Halloween office party, for which Nanny and Grayer are dressed in Telletubby costumes, Grayer runs into his dads office only to find him under a desk with a woman who, for some reason unbeknownst to me, is not wearing pants. A confused Grayer makes sure to point this out several times. Although this is a traumatic experience for Grayer, the incident will actually make you laugh and gasp, all in the same breath. Kraus and McLaughlin have a way of injecting humor into even the most disturbing events.

Their writing style paints a very clear picture for the reader. The descriptive language is what makes the reader laugh during bad situations. Although analyzing every last detail may sound tedious and boring, Kraus and McLaughlin do it well. Not only do they describe everything that occurs in Nanny's life, but they comment on it too. The sarcastic comments bring even more life into the novel. For instance, when Nanny finally goes on her first date with "Harvard Hottie" (aka HH) her thoughts of excitement were shown in parenthetical comments (Man, I love this book!) after each specific event of the outing.

This cute commentary is not the only aspect of the novel that makes it so charming. The well thought out plot with many surprises and a hint of suspense is what really makes The Nanny Diaries so good. Just when you think things couldn't get any worse for Nanny, Ms. X is late again, preventing Nanny from getting to class on time, or Ms. X won't let Nanny go to her own graduation because she needs her to baby-sit, or Nanny's month off gets cut short because Mr. X gets stuck in Chicago because of "bad weather conditions" (if "bad weather conditions" means spending some alone time with his pant less mistress). Among many others, these plot twists are what make you passionately hate the X family, excluding Grayer of course.

Though most of the plot contains appalling episodes there are some fun and exciting moments to lighten up the drama. Just about every scene with Grayer will make you giggle. From his fun with "wassailing" (the four-year-old version of Christmas caroling) to his play dates in the park, Grayer is a bundle of laughs.

Kraus and McLaughlin combine a wonderful plot with light-hearted writing to make a great novel. The fantastic sense of humor and touching moments of The Nanny Diaries makes for a book that is perfect for every teenage girl.

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