She May Not Leave
By Fay Weldon
(Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780871139429, 288pp.)
Publication Date: May 2006
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Fay Weldon lets her incisive wit loose on a hot issue facing many modern families — child care, and what can happen when that involves having a nanny under your roof.
Hattie and Martyn are the proud parents of newborn Kitty; both are in their early thirties, smart, handsome, and, for reasons of liberal principle, not married but partnered. All seems fine at first — healthy baby, happy couple — but when they have to decide who'll look after little Kitty, things get complicated. Hattie's dying to get back to work but Martyn fears employing foreign help might hurt his leftist political aspirations. Martyn capitulates when Agnieska arrives — a Polish nanny who happens to be both domestic goddess and first-rate belly dancer, the maker of a mean cup of cocoa who's also educated in early childhood development. Having her in the house makes life livable again for the young couple, so when problems arise with her immigration papers Martyn and Hattie will do anything to keep her in the country. But will their decision to have Martyn marry her be the trouble-free solution they envision?