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More than four million readers fell in love with Nan, the smart, spirited, and sympathetic heroine of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Nanny Diaries.
After living abroad for twelve years, Nan and her husband, Ryan, aka H.H., have returned to New York to get her new business off the ground and fix up their fixer-upper. To compound the mounting construction woes and marital chaos of Ryan announcing his sudden desire to start a family, sixteen-year-old Grayer X makes a drunken,...
More than four million readers fell in love with Nan, the smart, spirited, and sympathetic heroine of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Nanny Diaries.
After living abroad for twelve years, Nan and her husband, Ryan, aka H.H., have returned to New York to get her new business off the ground and fix up their fixer-upper. To compound the mounting construction woes and marital chaos of Ryan announcing his sudden desire to start a family, sixteen-year-old Grayer X makes a drunken, late-night visit wanting to know why Nan abandoned him all those years ago. Soon she is drawn back into Mrs. X's ever-bizarre Upper East Side conclave of power and privilege in this "eminently readable" and "surprisingly affecting" (Entertainment Weekly) tale of what happens when a community that chooses money over love finds itself with neither.
Grace barks sharply, jerking me awake from a dead sleep as she flip-twists onto all fours.
"Grace," I grumblingly reprimand, squinting through the darkness to where she peers out the bedroom doorway, like our night is about to go Lifetime. I stretch to the microwave-serving-as-nighttable — 1:23 a.m. — fumbling for my cell. She resumes barking with a ferocity that lifts her front paws in little jumps. Ears ringing, I flip open the phone and it glows to life, illuminating a text informing me that my husband is currently tucked in at the D.C. Radisson. I put my finger over the nine, primed to dial for help, when I hear —
"Grace!" I scream with exasperation, and momentarily stunned, she turns to me. "It's the doorbell," I explain, as if this should reassure us. I pull on yoga pants, tug Ryan's sweater over my slip, and feel my feet around for my Adidas.
Grace is squared protectively in the doorframe and, seeing me dressed and in motion, she scrambles for her throw rope and barrels to the stairs. "This is not a walk. We are not walking." She wags her tail with blind optimism. Holding my cell, I feel for the light switch. The bare bulb comes to life, illuminating the hall, the second-story landing, and the vestibule below.
"Crap," I mutter, nearly felled by my flopping laces as I descend the final two steps into the once grand, now puke green and linoleumed foyer. I pull back the crispy, yellowed lace covering the one of two narrow side windows faming the door. A glimpse of a long-ashed cigarette smoking in a man's fingers jerks me back to the wall. Grace pants around her frayed rope as she stares intently at the bottom of the door, waiting for it to be opened. Not a chance. I glance at the deadbolt to confirm it's bolted and, with a dully clattering heart, back up to the railing.
ZZZZZZZZZZ — fitz! The light two stories above goes out. Bringing us to a last pair of working fuses. Fabulous.
"Fuck," I hear from the front stoop. I stare at the door's peeling paint with an intensity rivaling Grace's. "Look, just open up," he speaks in a plaintive slur. "I left my wallet in the cab...and I just...I heard you...I know you're — fuck." I hear a thump and then something sliding heavily down the other side of the door.
Grace drops her head to sniff the jamb. I take a tentative step and ever so slightly lift the curtain. The streetlamp illuminates splayed khaki pants ending in shiny loafers. I make out slender fingers drifting open, releasing their grip on a black iPhone. My well-attired assailant is now slipping into unconsciousness? Death?
"Hey." My voice surprises me and sets Grace barking. "Stop." I put my hands around her muzzle to listen...Nothing. "Hey!" I slap the door.
"Yeah?" he coughs. "You're home."
"Who are you looking for?" I step around where Grace sits, ears squarely perked.
"Um..." I hear a scuffle; he's attempting to stand up. "I'm looking for a...Nanny?"
My throat goes dry. I peer back out through the frayed lace covering the pane between us. "What?"
"Yeah, Nanny. Are you — "
"Stand in front of the glass. On your right."...Nothing. "Hey!"
"Your other right."
Suddenly my view of the stoop is filled with a swerving face — a man — boy — somewhere in between. Beneath the mussed blond hair, atop the faintly freckled nose are two bloodshot blue eyes. They look out at me from the striking bone structure that unmistakably conjures his mother. I push my forehead into the cold glass, feeling at once a hundred years old and twenty-one. "Grayer?"
"You know me," he states flatly, taking a half step back from the window.
"Grayer," I repeat to the teenage incarnation of my last charge.
He swerves out of view, sending me fumbling for the locks. Grabbing a restraining hold of Grace's collar, I dart outside just in time to hook his belt loops as he tips over the stoop wall and retches onto the garbage cans. Bending my knees to counter his heaving weight in the frigid night air, I note that the heat is the one thing that fully functions in the house looming above us.
"Okay...done," he croaks, and I pull him upright, his body loose like a harlequin, emitting a thick aroma of liquor and nicotine. He rakes the sleeve of his peacoat across his face and stumbles back to lean against the closed door, his eyes focusing as Grace growls through the wood.
"You're taller than me," is all I can say, realizing this is actually happening.
"You have, like, a pit bull in there?"
"A golden retriever."
"I had one...I was allergic...as a kid...had to get rid of it." His eyes roll back.
"I think you should come inside." I gesture to the knob. He nods, momentarily righting himself, and I awkwardly maneuver around him to open the door. Grace grabs her rope and jumps up to greet us.
"Woo. Hey." Grayer pats her down, reaching a hand to the banister and swinging himself in a large arc to sit on the bottom step. I relock the door and turn to stare at him in the streetlight spilling through the transom's stained glass.
"Grayer," I falter, reaching far into my brain for the speech I'd once prepared for this very moment. "I'm so, so — "
"You a witch?" he asks, resting his head against the wall.
"What? No, I — "
"Okay, I didn't just show up at your house puking."
"It's just..." He waves his hand around the decrepit foyer, which Grace takes as an invitation to wag over and lick the remnants of his upheaval off his coat.
"I'm — we're, my husband and I are renovating." I cross my arms over Ryan's sweater. "How did you find me?"
"My mom's files. Some notes about the Hutchinsons and then, you know, Google."
I feel an unexpected burst of pride in this demonstration of his smarts — immediately extinguished as he fishes through his pockets to draw out a pack of American Spirits. "No." Grace backs up, head down. "Sorry, but no, you can't smoke inside."
"This is inside?" He cradles the pack between his hands. "This isn't, like, the confound-the-mutants antechamber and those doors open to a fat pad?"
"No, this is...it has a lot of potential."
"Right." His eyes drift close.
"Why are you here?"
"To tell you to go fuck yourself." He inhales in two quick sniffs, eyes still closed.
My stomach twists. "Okay."
His eyes flutter open, seeking mine in the dim light. "Okay?"
"Yes. I mean, yes, I understand. I — "
"Okay?" He throws his hands out and jerks forward, his elbows landing on his knees. "Great! That's great! Because, you know, you talked a lot of shit to be someone I have to fucking Google. You wanted to give them the desire to know me, huh? But you walked out like the rest of them. So fuck. You." He drops his head and splays his fingers across the back of his neck.
"Grayer." I reach out to him, but he jerks away.
"What." His voice thickens. Oh my God, he's crying. I crouch to try to meet his gaze, but his long bangs hang thickly between us. "Fuck, I'm such a pussy." He burrows his palms into his eyes. "We got back from the country tonight and he's moved out — for real, gone — and she dug it up for evidence and I just watched it and the thing is, the thing is...I don't even know who you are." He reaches for his coat pocket and wrestles something out, the force of its release slapping my cheek. I reel from the sting. "Christ — sorry. I didn't mean to — " He drops the VHS tape and it clatters to the chipped tile between us. Holding my face with one hand, I pick it up and tilt it in the shaft of colored light to make out the faded "Nanny" written on its label in her controlled script.
The nanny-cam video. She saw it — kept it...
"The things you said...and I don't know..." he murmurs, and I kneel down to reach my arms around his grown-up frame, pulling him against me. "I don't know you."
"I'm Nanny, Grove, I'm Nanny." And he slumps into me, passing out.
Copyright © 2007 by Italics, LLC
Posted February 10, 2010
I bought this because I enjoyed the first one, but wow-what a slow book to get into. I've read half of it and it still hasn't really drawn me in. Too many plots, poorly edited and at times it's hard to follow. It's obvious too that the authors are politically liberal as they've interjected comments. This adds absolutely nothing to the story. I wish people would leave that stuff out. I'm seriously thinking of just ditching this book, which is hard for me to do, maybe I"ll just skim the rest.
Anyone looking for a book to read, I'd suggest that you pass on this one, or borrow it from the library instead of purchasing (Sorry B&N)
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 30, 2011
I bought this book because I loved The Nanny Diaries and it always troubled me as to what happened with Grayer. (I'm a mother...fictional character or not, I know too many women who treat their children as accessories.) This book answers that, of course, but I was very disappointed.
I found the writing hard to follow and excessive in it's use of brand and designer names in place of proper nouns. It makes sense when used in dialogue with status conscious characters like Mrs X, etc but it doesn't when used in Nan's narrative. As when she says "I jerk up my Mason Pearson and swipe it through my hair". It's a hair brush. Say it's a hair brush. Not only was it distracting (along with some of typo's in the book), it also struck me as being hypocritical. Are the writer's every bit as materialistic as their antagonists?
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 28, 2012
I bought this book, hoping to be as thrilled as I was with The Nanny Diaries, only to be thoroughly let down. I donated it to charity, thinking someone else could be as bored with it as I. Very disappointing read from two very talented women. Ugh...
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2013
When Last we left Nan had been fired and decided to join up with Ryan in his travels. Now it is eight years later. Nan and Ryan are now married and have moved back to New York to put down roots. She thought she had left the past behind but all of the sudden.
Here is Greyer and he is back. He seeks answers to why Nan left him when she did. Nan feels guilty for how things ended and seeks closure, but is she really seeking that? Life goes as she starts a business and is developing a client list. Then there are also the renovations to their lovely new home. When Ryan leaves for a month will she be able to hold it together?
I really enjoyed The Nanny Returns. I enjoyed the narration of the audiobook. The humor in Ms. McLaughlin and Ms. Kraus’s writings is greatly appreciated. I enjoyed the hearing more about what Nan had been up to since we last met her. I would absolutely die to have a husband like Ryan. He isn’t perfect but you could see how much he loves Nan.
Once again we enter the world of the power and privilege with the upper crust of New York. The question I had throughout the novel is how would Nan handle it? Would she cower in the corner or thumb her nose at the upper crust. I thought the relationship she has with Citrine was interesting. A friendship of opposites one of wealth and one of the average.
I feel the authors left this book off on the right note. I can’t help wondering if we might see more from Nan in the future?
Posted April 17, 2013
Posted November 4, 2011
I Also Recommend:
As many readers would agree, the Nanny Diaries was outlandish fun, however, Nanny Returns doesn't quite impress the way the other did. When I first saw that there was a sequal I got really excited especially to see the "return of the X'es"- but there were many other things going on at the same time, most of which were a bit "fantasy like." I do believe some of the situations are plausible, I wish it centered more on Nan and the X's and it didn't. Not bad for a sequal, we all know the sequals rarely live up to the first book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2011
Posted November 25, 2010
I was disappointed with this sequel to the nanny Diaries. I really wanted to like this, but I just couldn't. I would have liked it a bit better if Nan had grown a little bit of a backbone and had been more assertive. It was all over the place and the flow was way off.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2010
The first two chapters caught me! I was excited to get into the follow-up to The Nanny Diaries...which I loved. As I trudged through the book, it got less and less interesting. There was such potential for the sequel, but this fell horribly short of remotely entertaining. I don't think it's taken me so long to finish a book before.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2010
This novel is based on a main character who is completely reacting to her environment and has absolutely no control over her life. Although refreshing unpredictable, the book is spastically entertaining.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I loved The Nanny Diaries and was really excited when I saw that these two authors were teaming up for a sequel. Unfortunately, their effort fell short of the bar set by the original. Whereas I couldn't put down the Nanny Diaries, I found myself struggling to finish this book. I more wanted to find out how they would end the book, than to actually read the book.
The Nanny Diaries was entirely plausible; one could actually imagine many of the situations occurring in real life. Nanny Returns enters a world more of fantasy as the authors try to create outlandish crises for Nan to tackle and in the end, it makes the book unbelievable and un-enjoyable. If you enjoyed the Nanny Diaries, don't start reading this book imagining it will equal the original as this is not the case.
Posted April 20, 2010
The years have passed and Nan Hutchinson, aka the nanny of The Nanny Diaries has married and moved around the world with her husband Ryan due to his job with the United Nations. She has gone back to school and finished her Masters degree and is now back home in New York trying to get her own human resources consulting business off the ground, while in the process of gutting and rehabbing a home in East Harlem. An encounter with a now teenaged Grayer, the child she was traumatically fired from watching when he became too attached to her, adds further complications to her life and brings her back into the orbit of is parents, the toxic Mr. and Mrs. X. Add an unplanned reunion with her own schoolgirl "friends" who have turned into clones of the obnoxious parents she dealt with during her career as a nanny, an elite prep school that offers her a consulting job and her husband pressing her start a family of their own and Nan's life is suddenly full of complications.
I think that Ms. McLaughlin and Ms. Kraus have a knack for writing interesting characters, including background characters. Nan is likable and it is easy to get caught up in her world, although, personally, I wonder why anyone would want to live there."
Posted March 27, 2010
I forgot how confusing the authors style is. I found myself going, "wait what just happened?" I did get used to the writing style and settled in and really enjoyed this story. Nan and the X family are just as addicting as they were in the Nanny Dairies. I really enjoyed this book...a little different than a lot of the other books out there!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 22, 2010
Nanny Returns was an excellent follow up. It shows that bond you have with someone really never goes away. Helping Grover overcome his awful parents the X's. The story was told with great heart, the characters were full of life and passion. I read this book in a day. I loved it and will reread it again I am sure.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2010
I love "The Nanny Diaries" and I have read that book multiple times. I was really looking forward to reading this sequel. I was not completely disappointed, however, it was not as funny and witty as the first. True fans will still enjoy reading about their favorite "Nanny" characters, as I did, but if you were not a huge fan of the first book I don't think you will be that interested in this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 20, 2010
Posted February 19, 2010
I bought "Nanny Returns" because I enjoyed the "Nanny Diaries" so much. "Nanny Returns" was a very poor follow-up to the first book. It was hard to follow, poorly written, too much "stuff" going on in the book that didn't follow the story. I won't buy another book by these authors.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 12, 2010
I could not agree more with ctsoxfan's review. I just finished reading this book and I found it extremely disappointing. It was definitely difficult to follow the numerous sub-plots. I also found the liberal bias annoying. Unfortunately, the overall premise of the story was very unbelievable, unlike The Nanny Diaries, which convinced the reader that people like the X's really did exist. Nanny Returns did not come close to meeting my expectations.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 6, 2010
I bought this book for my sister for Christmas. She is enjoying it right now. When I asked her about it, she told me it was very intersting
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 15, 2010
Quick wit moves this plot along but it is not enough to make up for the lack of cohesiveness. The plot skips around and it is difficult to follow; not because of complexity but because of poor editing. You will cheer for Nan as she fights the good fight against the crazy X's but it is not a book that immediately draws you in.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.