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"Nanny" returns...in a mess
on 2 April 2010
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.