Review

Nanny Returns

Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Nan Hutchinson (aka Nanny) can’t get a break. The
bestselling THE NANNY DIARIES by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
ended with Nan being fired from the thankless job of watching the
children of the self-absorbed and thoughtless Mr. and Mrs. X. In
NANNY RETURNS, she finds herself sucked back into the world of the
rich, the “different jungle” (as her grandmother calls
it).

A dozen years later, Nan is married to H.H. and returning to New
York City after his UN job showed them the world. Grayer X, her
former charge, shows up at her door one day, flaunting his
mother’s bone structure, inebriated and bemoaning the fact
that Nan abandoned him and her underpaid position years ago. But
his visit has another purpose: he needs her help. Again.

This time, Grayer isn’t the four-year-old son of
neglectful snobs; now he’s a strong-minded creative teenager
with an eight-year-old precocious brother, a philandering father
who is seeking a divorce, and a Chanel-clad, Botoxed mother who is
selling her gold for cash. He needs Nan to step in and be a role
model, a parent figure for his brother, whose mother is too
affected by the impending divorce to function (she no longer
“lunches”! Not that she actually ATE at those
lunches).

Nan is busy renovating a home in Harlem and starting up a
consulting job at a posh prep school, Jarndyce. Once again, she
finds herself surrounded by both the uber-wealthy who put
appearance above family and children who are starving for
affection. Add to that a circle of friends who seem to be producing
their own label-conscious spawn, and it is no wonder that Nan is
turning a deaf ear to H.H.’s hints to start a family. She
proclaims that she would “totally raise kids in the suburbs.
In the ’50s. The 1850s” rather than in New York City,
surrounded by Prada prams and the like.

Former nannies McLaughlin and Kraus show once again that they
truly know their old profession and the Upper East Side couture
crowd that turns to surrogate mother figures to help raise their
children. NANNY RETURNS is a fun romp that delves not only into the
life of the elite but also taps into the popular stories that are
front page news these days, including an incredible scene in which
students at the private school send obscene videos online that
result in a teacher losing a job and Mr. X’s trouble with
hedge funds in today’s economy.

It is rare that as a reader we get a second look at the life of
a character so well loved. NANNY RETURNS does exactly that, and it
doesn’t disappoint.

Reviewed by Roberta O’Hara on January 12, 2011

Nanny Returns
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

  • Publication Date: December 15, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria
  • ISBN-10: 1416585672
  • ISBN-13: 9781416585671