Searching for Mary Poppins

Women Write About the Intense Relationship Between Mothers and Nannies

By Susan Davis; Gina Hyams
(Hudson Street Press, Hardcover, 9781594630231, 320pp.)

Publication Date: September 21, 2006

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Twenty-five bestselling and award-winning female writers explore the emotional minefield of mother-nanny relationships

From coast to coast, articles and commentary on the new nanny culture abound. Nanny novels have captured public imagination to bestselling results, and thousands of "how to hire a nanny" guides are purchased every year. But no book has addressed the unique intimacy and intensity of the nanny-mother relationship through narrative with the depth and sensitivity found in Searching for Mary Poppins.

Susan Cheever, Marisa de los Santos, Joyce Maynard, Daphne Merkin, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Roxana Robinson, Rebecca Walker, and Elizabeth Graver, along with seventeen other leading women writers, explore the nanny conundrum, delving into the complex issues that today's mothers experience when they turn the care of their children over to a stranger. Raising questions that reach beyond money, race, class, gender, immigration, and legality into the darkest areas of love and fear that a mother feels, they offer viewpoints both rivetingly disparate and hauntingly familiar.

Providing hope, solace, and welcome perspective on this one-of-a-kind relationship, Searching for Mary Poppins sheds light on why nannies make us think so hard about who we are and what we want. BACKCOVER: "If you are a mother, a father, a child, a nanny, a prospective parent, or merely interested in the fascinating, complicated, intense, and poignant relationship between nannies and parents, you will find this book very hard to put down."
--Susan Orlean, author, The Orchid Thief

"This marvelous, often moving, collection of essays contains at least two deeply comforting lessons: one: there are no perfect nannies; two: there are no perfect mothers. How miraculous then, that so many of us manage to produce perfect children. And, with insights from this book, they will multiply."
--Susan Stamberg, Special Correspondent, National Public Radio

"Deeply personal and cumulatively political, these powerful essays are cautionary tales, love letters brimming with gratitude, dark confessions. They are full of true heartache, hard-earned wisdom, and inspiration."
--Julianna Baggott, co-author, Which Brings Me to You

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