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Nanny Returns: A Novel Hardcover – December 15, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nan revisits 721 Park, home of the moneyed but morally bankrupt Xs, and the boy she guiltily left behind in their inept care in this smart and sassy sequel to The Nanny Diaries. And though Nan has grown up a bit, married Harvard Hottie Ryan and traveled the world, the plight of the rich and stupid continues, as does Nan's new crusade to save former charge Grayer and his younger brother Stilton, renovate a crumbling East Harlem mansion and stick it out at a soulless Manhattan private school. Outcomes are deeply uncertain, though Nan is nothing if not a natural-born cheerleader: I know what I'm worth. Because I care for these kids, I do, right down to my toes, she says of her young charges in and out of school. There's still one fear, however—whether she'll ever be able to make the leap from nanny to mommy. McLaughlin and Kraus leave no dry eyes as they once again wield a razor-sharp wit that cuts down the most uppity mortals even as it lifts up their vulnerable children. You could safely bet your first born that this'll be another smash hit. (Dec.)
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"The many readers who loved the first entry will be thrilled to revisit Nan, Grayer, and the Xs." -- Booklist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (December 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416585672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416585671
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Nanny Returns picks up around 10 years after The Nanny Diaries ended. Nan is now married to the Harvard Hottie (Ryan) and after some time living overseas, has moved to Brooklyn. One day her former charge Grayer (now aged 16) turns up on her doorstep and she gets sucked back into the lives of the X family, which now also includes a 7 year old son called Stilton. The X's marriage is still unhappy and when Mr X hooks up with a Hollywood star, Nan gets caught up in the middle trying to protect the children.

I really enjoyed The Nanny Diaries but I'm sorry to say this book is nowhere near as good. It's a convoluted mess with a massive number of sub-plots, all of which are confusing and none of which are interesting. While there are some amusing snippets about how the Manhattan elite live, they are few and far between, and the froth is tempered this time around with drunken binges and drug overdoses which feel out of place. The writing also gets bogged down with elaborate descriptions, to the point where I wondered if the authors were paid by the adjective. Nan is also such a passive and indecisive character, which seemed appropriate in the first book but far less so in this one, now that she's married and ten years older.

The book starts slowly and you wonder where it's going. While it does pick up, it was a struggle to stay the distance. I don't recommend it.
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90 of 110 people found the following review helpful By EJ on December 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought "Nanny Returns" for some light and fun holiday reading. It was definitely light, but not so much fun. The story begins 10 years after the time period of the Nanny Diaries, when our hero, Nan, has returned to New York after years of globe-trotting with her husband. The story has several parallel threads: the purchase and the subsequent foibles related to the fixer-upper house Nan and her husband purchased, the fact that Nan's husband wants to have a baby immediately, the launch of Nan's consulting business, and the return of some characters (including the "Xes") from the prior book.

The authors did a fairly good job of re-introducing old characters for those of us who didn't read or only vaguely recall the first book (I fall into the latter category). I do remember enough of it to recall that back then I thought Nan was immature and spineless, which was perhaps understandable given her age at the time. And therein lies the fundamental problem with the current book. Nan, after marrying, living all over the world, and having aged 10 years, has not changed. I found the character to be completely unsympathetic and unlikeable. This is a woman who shakes in her boots when she has to return to the building of her old nemesis, Mrs. X, but yet she opts to take employment with a private school dealing with precisely the same type of people that we thought she was "over". This is a woman who expresses her liberation from the evil "Xes" by dressing dumpily when she goes to their house. This is a woman who hangs her colleagues out to dry in order to please the very people she is "over". Has she learned nothing from her experience with the "Xes", having lived in different cultures all over the world, and having aged ten years? Apparently the answer is no.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vee on August 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked the first book a lot. I am a mom of two little kids, who always likes to read light things, that is when i can FINALLY squeeze in a book, and I also worked as a sitter in NYC, so i could really relate to that whole upper east side culture that was mentioned on the first book. And, as someone's review stated, Nanny has NOT changed after her 10 year "return" even after traveling the world. There's nothing inspirational, fun or empowering about her or this story. Not to mention, the side stories that NEVER got an ending! AND the surreal way in which she comes to take care of the X's boys, without EVER standing up for herself... I'm extremely disappointed, annoyed and somewhat confused by this book and, can only think that, by the way some of the side stories never got finished or mentioned, they would try and stretch this into yet another book! Ugh, I hope not. Take the success of the first one and let's leave it at that. Sorry if I seemed harsh, but I only finished this book to prove to myself it would NOT get better towards the end. :|
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Margaret H VINE VOICE on February 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I enjoyed the social commentary of The Nanny Diaries, which I gave 4 stars. I expected more of the same in the sequel, except from an older and wiser Nanny, but I was very disappointed.

I fell in love with Greyer in the Nanny Diaries, not Nanny, whose purpose in my opinion was to narrate Greyer's story. So while I enjoyed reading in this sequel that Nanny has been married to her Diaries' boyfriend for the past 12 years, that she now has her own consulting business and that the couple has just returned home to New York after work has taken them all over the world -- enough about Nanny. My primary reason for reading the book is that I wanted to know what's happening with Greyer now that he's 16.

The book begins with promising me a story about Greyer when he shows up on Nanny's doorstep in the wee hours, drunk and angry. He's been angry with Nanny for the past 12 years because he thinks she abandoned him as a child; he doesn't know his parents fired her. Even so, he asks Nanny to help him protect his little brother Stilton, age 7, who is as adorable as little Greyer was. Unfortunately the novel then quickly loses focus and barely acknowledges Greyer and Stilton for the middle third or more of the book. Instead, the reader is treated to a profanity-laced and non-sensical plot involving Nanny's new job as a human resources consultant for an expensive private prep school.

I'm sure it's not the author's intention, but Nanny's actions on the job do nothing to make her a likable character that I want to read more about. She may have aged by 12 years chronologically, but as impossible as it sounds, she's otherwise even less mature than she was in her Diaries and still lacks a backbone. Nanny's lack of a backbone in Diaries is understandable.
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