3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Comical Humiliation and Domination,
This review is from: The Nanny Diaries : A Novel (Paperback)
First of all, this is an enjoyable and easy to read novel peppered with modern and apt cultural references. The comical humiliation and domination that the novel’s heroine has to endure make her efforts as a student to maintain her part-time job as a Nanny quite admirable.
One comes to accept that she actually cares as much as she seems to for the little boy who becomes her charge as she gradually slips into her dual role of nanny and parental substitute. The boy’s behaviour, particularly towards Nanny herself, at first strikes the reader as that of a tiny terrorist on the loose. Yet as it turns out the boy suffers more from the manner and apathy of his parents than even Nanny herself.
Still there is very little about this novel that is irreversibly tragic or even if there is a tinge of sadness in this novel this is well concealed by a constant stream of good-natured humour and a resolute reserve of strength and patience on the part of Nanny herself.
For really above anything else this is quite a cheerful and relaxing novel. A light-hearted novel with sound effects such as, for example, the ones put across by capital letters or the breaking up of words into their component letters.
As for the boy’s parents, it is quite difficult to believe that characters such as Mrs. X and Mr. X could actually exist in real life yet without their presence this novel would never have been possible. Even though at times their behaviour seems extreme what matters most is the overall effect of the juncture of their lives with that of Nanny.
This is one of those novels which by merely reading the first few pages of will give you a flavour of all the ingredients to be found within the rest of the novel. Take that as a guide. If you don’t like those first hints of what there is to follow put the book back on its shelf. Otherwise, trust those first signs and take the book along with you.