"Nanny Returns" to New York's now troubled elite

Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:18pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Dad has gone off with a Hollywood star, Mom is faking cancer, the kids are sexting, drinking and making mischief on social networking sites, and an elite New York school is opening a helicopter pad on the roof.

But never fear, nanny is coming to the rescue. Again.

Seven years after their international best-seller "The Nanny Diaries", authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus are revisiting Manhattan's super-rich and horrifically dysfunctional families in "Nanny Returns," which hits bookstores on Tuesday.

The satirical but poignant sequel could hardly be more timely as the designer-perfect life of the X family -- still passing their children around like discarded gift bags -- disintegrates with a Madoff-like financial meltdown and a brutal divorce.

"Nanny Returns" finds Nan getting reluctantly sucked back into the lives of Grayer, the 4-year-old she was once under-paid to care for and who is now a messed up 16 year-old, and his younger (surrogate) brother Stilton, 7, the product of both egg and sperm donors.

The first book -- which was made into a 2007 movie starring Scarlett Johansson -- was a hilarious account of the lives of pampered socialites who neither eat, work, cook, clean or show affection to their kids.

Former nannies Kraus and McLaughlin said the equally hair-raising sequel was inspired by their experiences working in New York's elite private schools and by the recent court case over the fortune of late socialite and multi-millionaire Brooke Astor.

"Brooke Astor had been very public about how mothering was of no interest to her. But whatever wounds had been inflicted on her son, he clearly had not been able to salvage his relationship with his own son, who turned him over to police for embezzling money from Astor," Kraus told Reuters.   Continued...