The Nanny Diaries, A Novel, by McLaughlin & Kraus


The writers were students at New York University, and both had worked as Nannies for a number of wealthy families on the Upper East Side, where the book is set.

The book starts off with Nanny telling us: “Every season of my nanny career kicked off with a round of interviews so surreally similar that I’d often wonder if the mothers were slipped a secret manual at the Parents League to guide them through.”  This is an early tipoff of predictability that follows in this Nanny’s experience in the summer ahead.

 Nanny is an NYU student in her senior year and she takes part-time job as Nanny for a Grayer X the 4-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. X.  She cares a great deal about the boy and is concerned about the lack of any relationship that he has with his parents. She picks him up at school, makes sure he goes to the activities that are arranged for him, and in addition works at being a personal assistant to his self-centered not very good mother.

Nanny meets a young man who goes to Harvard living in the same building and has a relationship with him. Nanny’s other life is of some interest but her experiences with the X family are funny, sort of, and predictable

Quotes from the Book

“And he doesn't care what you're wearing or what you've brought him. He just wants you there. Wanting him. And time is running out. He won't love you unconditionally that much longer. And soon he won't love you at all.”

“There are people─ in your home─ human beings─ drowning in their desire for you to look them in the eye. You made this family. And all you have to do is to show up and like them. It's called 'relating'. So get over whatever totally-absent-buying-your-affection parenting that you received and get here, man─ because this is your LIFE and you're just pissing it away.”

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The Nanny Diaries: A Novel
By Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus