One young woman to take care of four-year-old boy. Must be cheerful, enthusiastic and selfless--bordering on masochistic. Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a deliberately nap-deprived preschooler. Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family. Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculously erratic pay. Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employers Hermès bag. Those who take it personally need not apply.
Who wouldn't want this job? Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family. She rapidly learns the insane amount of juggling involved to ensure that a Park Avenue wife who doesn't work, cook, clean, or raise her own child has a smooth day.
When the Xs' marriage begins to disintegrate, Nanny ends up involved way beyond the bounds of human decency or good taste. Her tenure with the X family becomes a nearly impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four-year-old, her own integrity and, most importantly, her sense of humor. Over nine tense months, Mrs. X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power as they test the limits of modern-day servitude.
The X's and friends don't see the people that sacrifice everything including their own personal lives and families to ensure that these people sitting on cushions can continue looking down their noses at employees they consider below them meant to be unseen and unheard.
The X's and others aren't equipped to take responsibility for anything including their own children and can't see beyond the color filling their bank accounts.
The psychological turmoil these people cause their children by introducing and removing nannies and caretakers from their lives as easily as they do their husbands, wives and lovers is something you can't help but shake your head over.
You see the sense of disconnect between parent and child, the neglect, the complete sense of self centered selfishness that the X's are corrupted by as they push their children onto poor unsuspecting servants who despite their level of experience in the field really have no idea just how bad some of these people really can be.
Eventually it begins to wear on and test Nanny's defenses, her patience, and her morals. I liked that Nanny tried to stick with it for little G but in the end a person can only endure so much before you hit a wall.
I really like how Nanny went out at the end because you think 'way to go, good for you.'
I was happy that after being so tolerant the entire time that Nanny finally spoke up. I mean really. Someone needed to say it.
The Nanny Diaries was a book I wasn't sure I would like at first but once I started it couldn't put it down until it was finished.
Its also a story that confirms my opinion that many upper crust people in society shouldn't breed.