Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

3 Star

After living abroad for twelve years, Nan and her husband, Ryan, aka H.H., have returned to New York to get her new business off the ground and fix up their fixer-upper. To compound the mounting construction woes and marital chaos of Ryan announcing his sudden desire to start a family, sixteen-year-old Grayer X makes a drunken, late-night visit wanting to know why Nan abandoned him all those years ago. Soon she is drawn back into Mrs. X's ever-bizarre Upper East Side conclave of power and privilege in this "eminently readable" and "surprisingly affecting" (Entertainment Weekly) tale of what happens when a community that chooses money over love finds itself with neither.

Kathryn - 3 Star

Unfortunately I found this sequel slow to get into- the writing style seemed a bit jumpy and I found myself re-reading paragraphs to see if I’d missed something.  This was really disappointing because I’d loved the first novel - I read it so long ago that having a hard time remembering who everyone was frustrating- it took me longer to get into the story.

I appreciated the fact that her charge was brought back in the sequel and we could find out what had happened to him - he was introduced quickly though and their initial meeting was strange and seemed bizarre for a teenager to search for a nanny he hadn’t seen in over ten years.  

The private school system in New York City was baffling to me.  I’ve seen movies and read books about the major money and parental involvement in these schools yet I still found the scenes regarding the school Nan worked almost absurd and frequently found the things that were occurring very scary.  It didn’t feel real to me so it made relating to the characters on that side of the plot difficult.

I also found it frustrating that her husband was away and left Nan to live in a wreck of a house-she didn’t really seem as bothered as I would have been peeing in a bucket and having to rescue her dog from the upper floor using a ladder?  Nan also had a new career that was never properly explained so I didn’t really get a good grasp of who she was now except through her relationship with her husband and family.  She also only has a relationship with friends described fleetingly and I didn’t think they added to the story-I liked the characters but they didn’t add very much for me. I felt there was more time was dedicated to MrX’s girlfriend than Nan’s own friends.

From the above it sounds as if I didn’t enjoy this sequel at all but once I’d finished it I did feel that I had enjoyed it.  The exposure of the feelings of a semi-grown up little boy looking for the love of his parents  was heart-wrenching and the whole novel made me think about how children can be so lost without the proper guidance.

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