The Diary of an American Au Pair: A Novel

The Diary of an American Au Pair: A Novel

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by Marjorie Leet Ford
     
 

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After losing her advertising job in San Francisco and canceling her wedding (though not her engagement) an unencumbered Melissa, who harbors grand illusions about life in England, heads off to a new job as au pair to the family of a Member of Parliament. But the minorly aristocratic Haig-Ereildouns’ household falls far short of Melissa’s imaginings. Mrs.

Overview

After losing her advertising job in San Francisco and canceling her wedding (though not her engagement) an unencumbered Melissa, who harbors grand illusions about life in England, heads off to a new job as au pair to the family of a Member of Parliament. But the minorly aristocratic Haig-Ereildouns’ household falls far short of Melissa’s imaginings. Mrs. Haig-Ereildoun refers to Melissa as "her American girl" with a mixture of pride and contempt, expects her to share the children’s bathwater and, most importantly, entreats Melissa to " try to speak as we do." Heaven forbid the children pick up an American accent!

But then there is Nanny, the gloriously eccentric octogenarian who raised Mrs. H-E, who offers comfort, and much comic relief; nine-year-old Trevor, Melissa’s charge, whose wisdom and companionship redeem many a lonely day; and her budding friendship with a mysterious Englishman who is miles from her fiancé in every way. Melissa converses with Scotish fishermen, breakfasts with a French Minister of Culture, frequents island castles and sixteenth century manor houses, all the while straddling her ill-defined role (somewhere between houseguest and servant) with humor and grace. Melissa’s immersion in this unforgettable world teaches her more than she could possibly have imagined not only about the culture she has come to inhabit but, most importantly, about herself.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307806765
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/05/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Marjorie Leet Ford is a broadcaster and writer living in San Francisco. She conceived the long-running National Public Radio series Tell Me a Story, traveling around the world to record great writers, including John Updike, Eudora Welty, Jamaica Kincaid, Raymond Carver, Roald Dahl, reading their short stories. She was also once herself an au pair in Britain.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Diary Of An American Au Pair: A Novel 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book would be chick lit, but found it much deeper. It's an excellent study on class and cultural differences. It is also an engaging story told in a humorous fashion that left me wanting to read more of the author's works. I truly enjoyed this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it's okay, but if you have other books you want to read, they might be more interesting. This wasn't awful, but although I liked the setting, it just didn't hold my interest well. I skimmed the last parts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I HAD BEEN ENTHRALLED BY BOOKS LIKE THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, BRIDGET JONES, AND THE SHOPAHOLIC SERIES, AND LOOKED FORWRD TO READING THIS BOOK. SORRY TO SAY IT WAS DEADLY DULL!!! FORTUNATELY I PAID $1 AT A LIBRARY USED BOOK STORE. SORRY!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you finished the book, you would have found that your review is off base. All that is badmouthed in your review is righted in the end of the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The cover illustration convinced me to buy the book. The book itself confinced me to return it. The whole book had a ring that the author was trying to be something she's not, and was completely unconvincing. I actually read 85% of the book hoping that I would find one of the characters *somewhere* engaging or that the story would become interesting. In the end, after stoic entry after stoic entry, I skipped to the end to find that I just didn't care about any of her characters at all. There were no funny anecdotes; it was really just a sad diatribe on a girl who just didn't have the guts to do... well.. anything. Except, for some reason, go over to England and even that was questionable. The back of the book is covered with English critics saying how much they liked it; but really the whole book catered to the English idea that they are somehow superior to everything American. And this coming from me, who loves all things British!! Even I was disgusted at the fact that the main character would *never* stand up for herself, her family, or her country. Two stars. Read it, but prepare to have your socks bored OFF. So disappointing.