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.
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Fay Weldon was born and raised in New Zealand. Her novels and short stories have been bestsellers around the world and have been awarded great critical acclaim. Her film and TV work wins enthusiastic viewers by the million, worldwide.From Booklist:
The acerbic Weldon aims some well-honed barbs at political correctness in this amusing send-up of modern relationships and child-rearing practices. In their mid-thirties--handsome, healthy, and well educated--literary agent Hattie and crusading journalist Martyn have been thrown off their game by the arrival of their infant daughter. While on maternity leave, Hattie feels particularly oppressed by the domestic routine: she's rotten at ironing, can't seem to soothe her baby, and hasn't worn an unstained garment in weeks. She suggests they hire an au pair, but Martyn has serious qualms about the ethics of having a servant. However, once Martyn experiences the calming effect the Polish nanny has on his household--which allows him to sleep late and eat gourmet meals, not to mention witness demonstrations of her belly-dancing lessons--his political principles crumble, but so does his relationship with Hattie. Narrating the whole turn of events is Hattie's 72-year-old grandmother, Frances, a character who allows Weldon to describe the changing attitudes toward children and marriage over four generations as well as to incorporate many autobiographical details that will be familiar to readers of her memoirs ( Auto da Fay, 2003). Throwing in one final unexpected but delicious twist at the end, Weldon delivers another of her trademark takes on the domestic wars. Joanne Wilkinson
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Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002258528