Sunday, August 22, 2010
Authors: Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Nanny Returns is the sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel, The Nanny Diaries. In this installment, Nan returns to New York after living abroad with her husband, Ryan Hutchinson, for twelve years. Nan is excited to be back in the city with her family and friends, and her new projects, including the renovation of Nan and Ryan’s new “high potential” home in an up and coming neighborhood. In addition to the renovations, Nan has started her won consulting business and soon finds herself involved with Jarndyce, a high school for rich kids, that has an impossible board of directors and wonderful teachers, neither of which see eye to eye for their visions of the school. When Nan and Ryan are sent to close on his parents’ apartment on the Upper East Side, Nan finds herself shrinking away, trying to go unnoticed as she is forced to re-visit the neighborhood and apartment building she has been trying to avoid since arriving back in New York. The visit catapults a series of events which draws Nan back into the bizarre and twisted world of Mrs. X. The new tale is an extension of the old that will give readers everywhere closure to its predecessor.
In this novel Nan is confronted with her deepest regret, leaving Grayer all those years ago without saying good bye, without explanation, and without a loving parental figure. Nan also struggles with the decision of having her own children due to memories of those years past. When Grayer shows up on Nan’s doorstep, her world is brought back to the crazy, money and power driven world she didn’t want to return to. For a sequel this book impressed me. The authors did a wonderful job of weaving the original characters back into the story, along with new people and places. Nanny Returns enabled readers of The Nanny Diaries to continue Nan’s story in an enjoyable and realistic approach. The novels are alike yet different. Readers are able to read either novel without the other, yet if they choose, they can also read both for a complete extended story. I didn’t feel the novel was needed in order to help fulfill a void from The Nanny Diaries. Both books were alike and woven together, but are also able to be read on their own as individual novels. A reader would not need to read The Nanny Diaries first in order to understand and enjoy Nanny Returns.
Nanny Returns was light, comical and interesting. The reader is able to see Nan as an evolved and older version of herself, with the same snap and pizzazz of her younger self. The book was interesting, but didn’t quite hook me. I found myself putting it down more often than I like to with a book. Overall it was a good book, completely worth the read, but not entirely necessary as a second novel to its predecessor. For readers who liked The Nanny Diaries, I would suggest Nanny Returns as an extension of the story, if you are curious. If you’ve never read either, I suggest you do! Although the reader does not need to read these in order to understand the books, I would suggest reading them in order to obtain the full effect.
Reviewed for Bookpleasures