The Manny [Man-ee]N: A nanny of the male persuasion is Holly Peterson’s first novel. We all know the story of the husband cheating on the wife with the hot Swedish nanny but what if the tides were turned? This book addresses that exact concept however in this case the woman at least waits until she is getting divorced to act on her feelings.
Jamie Whitfield lives the dream life, by some standards. She lives in Manhattan in a well to do neighborhood with well to do friends. Her husband is a lawyer (Philip) and they have 3 young children. They have two household staff members that help them run their busy home while both parents work (basically your typical upper class stereotypes). When their oldest child, Dylan, starts struggling in his extracurricular activities Jamie decides to hire a ‘manny’ to be a mentor and help him feel better about himself since his father isn’t around nearly as much as he needs to be. His name is Peter. He is a Colorado transplant working to develop a computer software program that Jamie met in the park one day. As she sees the great changes Peter is making with Dylan, she starts to realize how unhappy she is in her marriage but couldn’t bring herself to divorce her husband until one fateful December day when all the pieces fall into place.
I thought this book was a quick read, perfect for a lazy day at the beach. It reminded me “Real Housewives of XYZ City.” Peterson touches on the dynamics that form between the upper class women of NYC and how one day they are your friend and the next you are being cropped out of magazine photographs. She effortlessly portrays the struggles of moms who run the household while working and have a husband that is never around, as if they are single moms themselves. As you read, you want Jamie to be your friend and take her under your wing, then guide her in the right direction. She is very relatable and down to earth. She clearly doesn’t fit in with the women who surround her and you hope in the end she gets the happiness she deserves.
Next Book: The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine