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I like - not love - chick-lit. "The Nanny Diaries" was cute, somewhat clever, and fun reading. "Nanny Returns" is none of those things. The authors try to cram 10lbs of "stuff" in a 5lb bag. There are way too many characters - mostly similar in type and only distinguishable by their names - and way too many plot lines. I think the book could have done with some judicious editing.

"Nanny Returns" is a sort of continuation of the "X Family", "Mr" and "Mrs", "Grayer", and now, "Stilton". "Stilton" is only one in a collection of stupid names in this book, given, I think, to connote "Upper Class status". Twelve years has passed since "Nanny" was sacked by the family during a visit to the family home on Nantucket. Nanny has graduated college, married the very wealthy Ryan Hutchinson, lived abroad for ten years or so, and has now returned to Manhattan to settle down. One of the plot-lines is the on-going restoration of an old house in Harlem that the Hutchinsons will live in. Some other plot-lines involve babies - those already born, those conceived, and those still in the planning stage. Others include grown up "mean girls" and their husbands, mostly Nanny's classmates from Chapin, and other elite Manhattan private schools. Oh, and those elite schools also are involved in a plot-line. The problem with all these plot-lines is that they basically go nowhere. Not only don't the plots or the characters go anywhere - other than to the Hamptons - most of the characters are mere caricatures.

I finished the book because I had to - being a Viner and all - but I wasn't particularly interested. I might have been more satisfied with the book had the plots actually gelled into something, anything, but, for the most part, they didn't. I would normally say that if you enjoyed the first book in a series, you'd probably enjoy the sequel, but I really don't think so in this case. It just isn't very good. I think/hope the authors can do better.
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on 5 June 2017
I’m not sure if this sequel to the very popular “Nanny Diaries” is of much lower quality than the first story, or if my tastes and expectations have just evolved quite significantly in the fifteen years since I read Krauss and McLaughlin’s first book.
I expected it to be a quick read; fluff, but I did not expect to that I would have to drag myself through to the end (eye-rolling and sighing at length).
Nan may be older now; married and world-travelled, but her book series has not matured. I found the drama of the Xes to be less amusing, and just more pathetic.
As I near forty, I guess I just prefer the lens that Liane Moriarty offers on the spoiled and rich. I need a drama with punch and complexities; not this twee attempt of “comedic satire”.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 23 January 2010
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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Twelve years have passed, but some things haven't really changed for the ex-Nanny. Unfortunately, "Nanny Returns: A Novel" is a thin retread of Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus' first novel about a beleaguered nanny and the rich, dysfunctional Xes. The actual story of Nan and the Xes is about the only halfway interesting part of the story, and it's padded out with loads of generic chick-lit subplots.

After twelve years abroad with her husband Ryan, Nan returns at last to New York and is in the middle of renovating her new home... and fending off Ryan's hints about wanting to finally have kids. Enter Grayer X, now a jaded sixteen-year-old who drunkenly tells her off for abandoning him as a tot. Out of guilt, Nan reenters the lives of the Xes -- Mr. X is cavorting with a Hollywood starlet, Mrs. X is in a downward spiral (and seriously ill), and Grayer is trying to protect his baby brother Stilton.

At the same time, Nan gets a job as a teacher at a posh school called Jarndyce (Jaundice?), which essentially serves as a daycare facility for idle, moneyed brats. Yup, she specifically sought out a job serving those whom she claims to hate. But a sexting scandal spirals into the cyber-lynching of an innocent young teacher, and thence into a dramatic OD on the night of a fundraiser, Nan is discovers that -- shocks! -- the parents don't care about their kids and the kids are bratty and emotionally neglected.

The main plot of "Nanny Returns" could have easily fit into a slender novella: Nan gets sucked back into the Xes' vortex, having not changed at all in all that time. Mrs. X is seemingly very ill and broke. Mr. X is off with a spoiled starlet. The kids are being neglected.

Unfortunately, that plot is not enough to fill out an entire book -- so Kraus and McLaughlin pad it with plenty of cliched chick-lit subplots (chatting with girlfriends, home "evisceration," and Nan's angst about not wanting to be pregnant), with all the tidy cliche resolutions. As a result, "Nanny Returns" is a snaggly tangle of random subplots, some of which (who's Citrine and why should we care about Nan rushing to be her buddy?) appear to have been included just to make a certain number of pages.

What's more, the main theme is essentially the same as in the first book: rich people are nasty, pampered and demanding, and their kids turn into horrible brats because they're neglected. However, Kraus and McLaughlin don't really add anything to the equation -- it feels like they're trying to shock us with last year's tabloid headlines.

It also doesn't help that Nan seems like a whiny brat herself, and apparently hasn't changed in twelve globetrotting years. What was naively likable in a college kid is gratingly shallow and obnoxious in a well-traveled thirtysomething -- you would expect her to have a bit more perspective. Instead, she spends the entire book whining about how she doesn't want a baby (but neglected to tell Ryan this before they married) and bending over backwards for two generations of spoiled brats.

Twelve years have passed, but nothing has really changed. "Nanny Returns" is a thin retread of "The Nanny Diaries," tangled in a mess of generic chick-lit subplots. Get this one from the library, if you're dying to see what happens next with the Xes.
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on 11 May 2012
After the first book, I eagerly awaited this long overdue sequel. But perhaps it took so long because it is so bad? None of the wit, none of the clever castic insight, non of the wry humour of the first book. Nan has become some sort of spineless yuppie with a few throw away lines to try and convince the reader she is not shallow. I struggled right to the end, but only because I was on holidays and this was the only book I took, stupidly thinking it would be great and a perfect holiday read. Thank God I now have a Kindle. Never again! I'd sell it, but it is currently trading at 0.01. No wonder. It reads like it had no editor. Or the authors were pre-paid and just had to reach a word limit. So, so bad.
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on 13 October 2010
The book was intensely disappointing. Far too many sub-plots going on, and scarcely a likeable character in the whole story, I'm afraid. Even the main character, Nan, is too scattered and confusing. Is she a sensible, moral, reasonable person completely unlike the shallow, selfish uber-rich of Manhattan? Or is she just as bad because she keeps excusing their actions and enabling their little cruelties?
The teacher, Ingrid, who actually cares about the spoiled teenagers she teaches is the one truly sympathetic character in the book. She saves two of them from dying from a drug overdose, even after they have brutally destroyed her reputation online with a pornographic website. Does she get thanks, from the kids or their parents? No, she gets fired! Does Nan stick up for her in her position liaising between the staff and the school board? Nope. Utterly depressing.
I kept on reading, hoping that everyone would get what they deserved and all the little sub-plots would be resolved, but was disappointed. Nobody really gets their just desserts and as for resolving all the other issues? We never find out if Ingrid got another job. Nan's parents were going to be evicted - she never gets time to do anything about that- but on the last page a hasty phone message lets us know that's been conveniently sorted out. Very slapdash and badly put together. I wish I hadn't wasted my time persisting with reading it all the way to the bitter end.
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on 27 August 2012
I was a bit disappointed by this - it is of course readable and you'll want to know how it ends but it was all a bit far fetched for me. I don't want to give too much away but how Nan behaves in situations in the book (set ten years on) actually made me like the character a lot less. The Nan you could forgive in the original for being young,naive and scared is now just silly
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on 28 September 2013
I haven't read the first book, The Nanny Diaries, but I have seen then film and wanted to know what happens next. As soon as I started reading this book I was hooked. I was a little dubious having read the other reviews on here but I decided to give it a try and I'm so pleased I did. I thought the main character Nan was very likeable although she did annoy me in certain parts as I felt she could have stood up for her peers a lot more than she did do. I put this book down feeling a little disheartened in that people treat other people in those ways, especially the teacher at the school and the nanny in the Hamptons. Overall, a fabulously bitchy books which will have your blood boiling in certain places but it ends nicely and everything ties up together. One thing I was positively sure about after reading this book is that money does not buy you love.
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2010
It's ten years after Nan was fired from her Nanny position with the Xs and she's returning to New York. A late-night drunken visit from Grayer X - now fifteen - draws Nan back into the lives of the family. Feeling guilty for abandoning Grayer all those years ago, Nan finds herself agreeing to help him and his seven-year-old brother, Stilton, through their parents divorce.

I'm not usually a chick lit fan but as I'd read the Nanny Diaries I figured I'd give it a shot.

Generally my thoughts were that this book was ok. Some bits were good, some a little dull, in my opinion. There seemed to be too much filler information for my liking and it took me about half of the book to figure out what Nan was doing as a job. The general plot was ok but I'm not sure I really connected to any of the characters.

If you liked the first book and the genre then you might enjoy it.
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on 18 November 2013
I found the book to be intriguing but a bit flat plot wise. The characters were very well written and in keeping with the previous book. Also the interactions and social behaviours were fun to read between characters.

This book would definitely be appropriate for anyone over 12, who enjoys a slightly journal-esque books and reading dramatic chick lit.
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