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Emma McLaughlin, Nanny Returns

Nanny Returns

It’s been seven years since Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus released The Nanny Diaries — that frothy fictional exposé of the overworked, underpaid minions enlisted to surrogate-nurture the pampered offspring of the platinum-AmEx set. In this eminently readable follow-up, Nanny Returns, narrator Nan is now 33, a world-traveled, master’s-degreed consultant well past her dark Park Avenue days with the spectacularly dysfunctional ”X” family. But much like Michael Corleone in a certain other sequel, just when she thought she was out…they pull her back in. Returned to New York with her U.N.-employed husband (Diaries‘ Harvard Hottie) after years abroad, Nan finds a job in the cashmere-clad overachievement Olympics that is the city’s private-school system — and is reunited, too, with the erratic X family, who are more unhinged than ever. The authors’ breezy wit (an excitable friend’s exclamations are described as ”varied and tonal, like an Asian language”) carries an often cartoonish plot, and their surprisingly affecting portrayal of childhood hurts pierces the world of monstrous privilege the book springs from. B+

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