7 Jun 2012

Move over Mary Poppins!

We've probably all been there - working as a nanny. Some of us only a few times, watching kids while their parents were out for dinner or at the cinema, others of you readers may have worked as au pairs or live-in nannies. Or some of you might be planning to. I have only done the occasional night of babysitting but I have a thing for nanny novels. I love reading about nannies, not sure why but I do. So here are three good nanny novels:
"What the Nanny Saw" by Fiona Neill
Ali is an English student fighting to make enough money to make it through university so when she spots an opportunity to take a year out from university and come back debt-free, she jumps at it. Soon she finds herself at the center of the family living in the most expensive villa on Holland Park Crescent in London. The Skinners are filthy rich and as both mum and dad works long hours in the world of finance, Ali is left with a lot of responsibility for the children: two teenagers and a pair of four-year-old twins. When the family's life is shook by the downfall of Lehman Brothers, Ali has to decide where her loyalty lies and fight to separate her own personal life from her job as a nanny.
"The Diary of an American Au Pair" by Marjorie Leet Ford
Newly jobless and with a wedding just cancelled, Melissa wants to make a real change in her life so she takes on a job as a live-in nanny with a London family. Arriving in the United Kingdom with a suitcase full of romantic fantasies about life in London, she soon realises that these are indeed just fantasies. She is regarded as a bit of a curiosity - an American girl - and finds it hard adjusting to a life which is very much led under the motto of "Make do or mend". Fresh bathwater and heating is seen as a luxury even though she gets to visit splendid castles and meet fascinating people. It is a steep learning curve and perfect if you are considering moving to the United Kingdom.
"The Nanny Diaries" by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Manhattan mums seem to spend very little time actually mothering their children in this novel. Instead they get their hair and make-up done, have time for facials and shopping and spend large amounts of money decorating and re-decorating after which they host parties to show if the re-decorations and the new clothes. Nanny is a young lady who works as a nanny for one of these mums. Her charge is the cutest little boy whom a flux of nannies and a lack of maternal love has left insecure and lonely. As the story progresses, Nanny grows to love him and he learns to trust her as they both struggle to survive in a household where a nanny is worth less than a Hermes bag and where a little boy is just an accessory.


  1. I have read The Nanny Diaries. It made me cry. The other two sound good. I have a thing for adoption and foster kid stories, but nanny tales are a close second because of the kids who get nannied. An unusual nanny story (well, really she is a babysitter but plays a nanny role) is Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott.

  2. I've not been a nanny but I am a teacher so I'm sure I could relate in some way to these books. Thanks for the recommendations Willa :)