While looking through the Gilmore Girls Challenge list on a search for something "different from what I normally read," I stumbled on "The Nanny Diaries" by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus. The authors, both former Manhattan nannies, wrote this story about the experience of being a nanny for a very wealthy New York City family. The story is not based on any particular family for which either one worked, so reading it is not a game of guess-who-this-is-really-about.
The story is told from the perspective of Nan, who is finishing up at university while being a part-time nanny for four-year old Grayer. Nan gives us a glimpse into Grayer's life, which is very, very scheduled, from French classes to ice skating lessons, in the hopes of getting him into the "right" private school.
Grayer's parents appear throughout the novel. Grayer's mother, Mrs. X, gives Nan all sorts of additional jobs that extend beyond the scope of Grayer’s care, including running errands all over town for a party for Mr. X's company. Mrs. X ignores Nan's assigned hours, not showing up when Nan is supposed to leave and putting Nan in challenging situations (being late for meetings at her own school, calling her mom in the middle of the night because Grayer is sick).
Nan discovers secrets about Mr. X and is torn on how to handle this information. Sharing with Mrs. X would devastate her, but Nan feels like an accomplice by not saying anything. Nan spends much of the book torn between her affection for the child and her disdain for his parents.
While the book is humorous, there is a sad strain that runs through it. While it appears that Grayer has more than any child could ever ask for, we see him desperately trying to get his father's attention. His mother is caught up in her own stressful issues, and she too seems to distracted to notice Grayer's attempts at getting her attention and affection.
Despite this sad story line within the book, the story of the relationship between Nan and Grayer is sweet. She cares deeply for this child in her care, and through Grayer, meets a man who she is very interested in. Read the book to see if that relationship develops and what happens between Mr. and Mrs. X.