Thursday, 16 June 2011

Book Review - Nanny Returns

Title: Nanny Returns
Author: Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin
Series: Nanny (book 2)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Release Date: 20 Jan 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1847391254

Ten years after the fateful night when Nan was fired, she returns to New York with her husband, HH. Finally settling in to build a permanent home and get her consulting business off the ground, Nan's plans are derailed by HH's sudden desire to start a family - and her surpisingly strong resistance to the idea. Matters are further complicated by a late-night, drunken visit from a now fifteen-year-old Grayer, who's stumbled upon the nanny-cam tape Nan made on her last night in his mother's employment - and wants some answers. Racked with guilt and struggling to find a way to help Grayer and his seven-year-old brother, Stilton, through their parents' vicious divorce, Nan finds herself getting sucked into the Upper East Side world of wealth, power and dysfunction all over again. Set against the backdrop of a Manhattan economy cracking along the fault lines, The Nanny Returns plumbs the humour and heartbreak of a community who chose money over love, only to find the money evaporate - and their children ready to tell all. 

My Review
I had the DVD of 'The Nanny Diaries' bought for me age ago, I watched it and rather enjoyed it, then found out it was based on a book, so I tracked it down in the library, requested a copy and read it. That must have been about 2 years ago now, I remember thinking that I liked the movie better, but the book was a worth-while read, so when I saw this book come in as a follow up I snatched it up quick. 
I had always wondered what happened to that sweet little boy and his cold shouldered parents and this book looked to provide the answers.
Ten years after she left, Nan returns to New York with her husband and starts to settle into her life, she's had adventure, travel and excitement, she now wants roots, a home and her business to take off, but when Grayer turns up on her doorstep drunk one night, she finds herself thrown back into the world of the Upper East Side, where the children are just accessories and get in the way of the mother's beauty regiments. Nannies raise the children with no thanks. Thinking she had left that all behind Nan feels herself pulled back into a situation she finds it hard to break out of.
Grayer needs help but is too stubborn to ask for it, he has a seven year old brother named Stilton, who he practically brings up, his dad has left and his mum is almost permanently drunk or out of it. Nan finds she can't pull back, the boys need her, in a world where they are left to fend for themselves she has to stand in as the parent figure.

I quite enjoyed the book, I wouldn't say it was great but the storyline was believable and the pace fairly fast moving. Some of it seemed totally unbelievable, I can't say much as it would give the plot away, but certainly the behaviour of Mr & Mrs X (Grayer's parents) was shocking and I'm sure would have Child protection after them quicker than you could say Nanny! 

I don't know if the authors have had bad experiences with the people of the Upper East side, wheather they were children abandoned with Nannies themselves or they worked as Nannies or what but they definitely show no love for that class of people and really show them in the worst possible light, it makes me question if that many people could really act that way as though it were normal, I wouldn't have thought so. 
Grayer wasn't anything like I expected him to be, but I still found myself attached to him and I felt really sorry for himself, and their were moments where the old Grayer would shine through.
Stilton is a great character, such a lively, sweet-hearted, considerate little boy, full of so much life and love. I found myself smiling whenever he burst onto the page.
Nan is sort of as I pictured her and it felt like I was reunited with an old friend.

So, although a lot of it isn't really believable, if you give yourself over to the world and see it through Nan's eyes then this book is quite an enjoyable read. The characters grow and develop throughout and the plot does have a basic storyline. 
I would say that I thought there was a lot of unnecessary swearing in it, I know people do swear a lot more these days, but the frequent use of the 'F' word did get a bit annoying.

My Rating
I would give this book 5.5/10, a good read if you allow yourself to get lost in it with no questions, but cracks do appear and the believability of some it if just doesn't stand, so I'm sort of in the middle with it a bit. I'd say if you are a fan of the first then you would enjoy finding out where they all ended up. I think you could read it with no knowledge of the first book. Maybe just not for me. 

Have you read this book? What did you think? 


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I like this cover for some reason. It seems to fit the description fairly well. I'm not sure if I would read it, but it would look pretty on my shelf.

barmybex said...

Yeah I do like the cover, the versio I had was more pink and sparkly than this one.
Definitely one that catches your eye. :D