November 22, 2010

Nanny Returns, By Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Nanny Returns is the sequel to The Nanny Diaries, first a wildly popular book and then a somewhat popular movie.

I was a huge fan of the original, so when I saw the sequel at Target, I leaped at the chance to pick it up.

I'm sad to say I was less than impressed.

Plot: We join Nan 12 years after her dramatic end to nannydom. She's married and moving back to NYC after a stint abroad. Her old charge, Grayer, looks her up and just like that, Nan is thrown back into the lives of the X family, who have another young son now.

It's been years since I read The Nanny Diaries, so I'd forgotten a lot of the plot points and nuances that are referenced in the sequel. For example, I completely forgot how the relationship between the X family and Nan ended. It was referenced in this book, but was often lost on me because they didn't recap it until the last pages. Other parts of the book dragged along, including Nan's new job as an HR consultant to a prestigious school. The job is just, well, odd. And she knows it. But she just kind of sits back and doesn't do anything about it. I felt like more suspense or tension could have been injected, but as it was, it didn't happen until the very end and came and went in a whirlwind of a few pages.

Characters: This time around Nan seemed to be a bit of a pushover. Again, I don't remember all the details about the first novel, but I feel like Nan was a bit more of a fighter. In this one, she just seemed to let people walk all over her. Mrs. X, her husband, her boss, her friends, the list goes on. You'd think after 12 years, she'd have grown some cajones.

Structure: The book is definitely easy to read, but because of the plot and character shortcomings, I never really got into it. Typically with a book like this, I'd devour it in a few days. It took me a few weeks with this one.

A fine read, nothing compared to the original. 2.5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. i could not agree with you more on this review. i was so disappointed by this book and never really connected with the characters and didn't find myself enjoying it or laughing like i did with the first book.


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