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"A probing, heartfelt memoir about the true meaning of family" Kirkus Reviews "Powerful... wrenching" New York Arts "A beautiful memoir from the heart..." Melana Watrous, author of If You Follow Me "Beautifully written, poignant ... I cannot recommend it strongly enough." Alice Kahn Ladas, Ed.D., psychologist focusing on early childhood trauma; co-author of The G Spot: And "A probing, heartfelt memoir about the true meaning of family" Kirkus Reviews "Powerful... wrenching" New York Arts "A beautiful memoir from the heart..." Melana Watrous, author of If You Follow Me "Beautifully written, poignant ... I cannot recommend it strongly enough." Alice Kahn Ladas, Ed.D., psychologist focusing on early childhood trauma; co-author of The G Spot: And Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality In Nanny: A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Nancy Salz reveals the pain of conflicted love for her mother and the longtime nanny who raised her. While searching for her late nanny's life story, Salz recovers their intense bond that survived derision and death and unearths secrets kept for nearly fifty years. A few days before Nancy Salz was born, her nanny, Elizabeth Hanna, a small, forty-five-year old former orphan with olive skin, a long nose and a short forehead, arrived on the stoop of the Salz family's home, a townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Her only space was a freezing, former bathroom connected by French doors to Salz's much grander room. Salz's parents were only twenty-five and twenty-eight at the time. Their lifestyle of beautiful homes, catered parties, stylish clothes, multiple servants, fancy cars-and among the women, gossip, always gossip-defined the culture of the Salz home. Elizabeth Hanna, called Miss Hanna, was not of their world, but this was the world that she walked into. Miss Hanna's job was to keep the author fed, dressed, clean and loved. Salz soon learned that her own job was to protect her nanny and herself from the constant, cutting ridicule of her mother, a Grace Kelly lookalike who was unaware that her gun-toting husband had been cheating on her since their engagement. Salz made a vow as a child never to speak of her love for her nanny, "that ugly woman," as her mother called her. When Salz was sixteen, Miss Hanna was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma; she moved from her tiny bedroom to a Dickensian public nursing home and then a Catholic hospice, where she died. In 2008, a few years after her mother died, Salz broke her vow and began a search for Miss Hanna and the orphan asylum where she had been raised. Generous strangers, the Internet and just plain luck helped Salz discover Miss Hanna's roots and secrets - and she finally understood why her nanny's eyes stayed sad, even when she smiled. About Nancy Salz Nancy Salz is the author of many profiles and musical theater reviews for Berkshire County newspapers and online arts magazines. Nanny: A Memoir of Love and Secrets is her first narrative book. She lives in New York and Massachusetts.


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"A probing, heartfelt memoir about the true meaning of family" Kirkus Reviews "Powerful... wrenching" New York Arts "A beautiful memoir from the heart..." Melana Watrous, author of If You Follow Me "Beautifully written, poignant ... I cannot recommend it strongly enough." Alice Kahn Ladas, Ed.D., psychologist focusing on early childhood trauma; co-author of The G Spot: And "A probing, heartfelt memoir about the true meaning of family" Kirkus Reviews "Powerful... wrenching" New York Arts "A beautiful memoir from the heart..." Melana Watrous, author of If You Follow Me "Beautifully written, poignant ... I cannot recommend it strongly enough." Alice Kahn Ladas, Ed.D., psychologist focusing on early childhood trauma; co-author of The G Spot: And Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality In Nanny: A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Nancy Salz reveals the pain of conflicted love for her mother and the longtime nanny who raised her. While searching for her late nanny's life story, Salz recovers their intense bond that survived derision and death and unearths secrets kept for nearly fifty years. A few days before Nancy Salz was born, her nanny, Elizabeth Hanna, a small, forty-five-year old former orphan with olive skin, a long nose and a short forehead, arrived on the stoop of the Salz family's home, a townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Her only space was a freezing, former bathroom connected by French doors to Salz's much grander room. Salz's parents were only twenty-five and twenty-eight at the time. Their lifestyle of beautiful homes, catered parties, stylish clothes, multiple servants, fancy cars-and among the women, gossip, always gossip-defined the culture of the Salz home. Elizabeth Hanna, called Miss Hanna, was not of their world, but this was the world that she walked into. Miss Hanna's job was to keep the author fed, dressed, clean and loved. Salz soon learned that her own job was to protect her nanny and herself from the constant, cutting ridicule of her mother, a Grace Kelly lookalike who was unaware that her gun-toting husband had been cheating on her since their engagement. Salz made a vow as a child never to speak of her love for her nanny, "that ugly woman," as her mother called her. When Salz was sixteen, Miss Hanna was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma; she moved from her tiny bedroom to a Dickensian public nursing home and then a Catholic hospice, where she died. In 2008, a few years after her mother died, Salz broke her vow and began a search for Miss Hanna and the orphan asylum where she had been raised. Generous strangers, the Internet and just plain luck helped Salz discover Miss Hanna's roots and secrets - and she finally understood why her nanny's eyes stayed sad, even when she smiled. About Nancy Salz Nancy Salz is the author of many profiles and musical theater reviews for Berkshire County newspapers and online arts magazines. Nanny: A Memoir of Love and Secrets is her first narrative book. She lives in New York and Massachusetts.

38 review for Nanny: A Memoir of Love and Secrets

  1. 4 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    I just found out I won this book through a First Read give away. I will post a review once I have received and read it. UPDATE: I read this slim volume in a couple of hours one dark, cold night. The writing is fine. I have no complaints about the writing. It is easy to understand, not pretentious or overly fancy. I do have some questions about the book. Who is the intended audience? What was I supposed to learn from reading this? Most of all, why was this book published? So here’s the plot: The aut I just found out I won this book through a First Read give away. I will post a review once I have received and read it. UPDATE: I read this slim volume in a couple of hours one dark, cold night. The writing is fine. I have no complaints about the writing. It is easy to understand, not pretentious or overly fancy. I do have some questions about the book. Who is the intended audience? What was I supposed to learn from reading this? Most of all, why was this book published? So here’s the plot: The author grew up very rich, but seemingly unloved by her parents. There was mental and psychological abuse, but nothing that seemed excessively hideous to me. Sure, we all go through shit while growing up, and lots of things adults would find trivial seem big and important and momentous to kids, so I get it that the author was hurt by her parents. However, as the facts are laid down here, she wasn’t beaten or starved or molested or locked in a closet. I can see how she feels her upbringing was bad, but it doesn’t seem like it was BAD. In the midst of her unloving family, the author had a nanny, a governess who really loved her. The author loved her right back, even though the author’s mother didn’t like the woman and disparaged her whenever possible. Because the author’s mother despised the nanny, the author turned her love for the nanny into a deep dark secret. The first part of the book is all about the author’s difficult childhood and how the nanny mitigated the negativity. The second part of the book chronicles how as an adult, the author researches the life and death of the nanny, learns to see her former caregiver as a real person, and admits to her secret love for the woman. (And by “secret love,” I don’t mean lesbian love or anything vaguely titillating. I just mean the kid loved the one adult who was nice to her.) I get it that this story is about the power of love and how sometimes love comes from outside the family. (See The Secret Life of Bees and The Help if you want more of the “poor women raising and loving rich kids” genre.) I just didn’t learn anything new from reading this memoir. I truly hope writing this memoir helped the author heal (and it would be great if it helps other unloved rich kids heal by reading it), but it didn’t do much for me but help pass the time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I received this memoir as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Author Nancy Salz relates her childhood memories of her nanny, Miss Hanna, and the influence her governess had on her. Born into a family that was apparently either unable or unwilling to demonstrate affection toward the children, Ms. Salz grew fervently loyal to the woman who provided her with attention, instruction, and regular expressions of love. Many years after Miss Hanna's death, Salz attempts to find out as much as she can about I received this memoir as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Author Nancy Salz relates her childhood memories of her nanny, Miss Hanna, and the influence her governess had on her. Born into a family that was apparently either unable or unwilling to demonstrate affection toward the children, Ms. Salz grew fervently loyal to the woman who provided her with attention, instruction, and regular expressions of love. Many years after Miss Hanna's death, Salz attempts to find out as much as she can about her nanny's life prior to coming into the Salz household. While I see this memoir as a truly earnest effort, it failed to engage me on an emotional level. In the early chapters, we get a detailed description of the house where the family lived, with a reference to the detrimental effect the physical arrangement might have had on the closeness of the family, but very little emphasis on the actual interactions, or lack thereof, of the family members. We see that Salz felt close to Miss Hanna, despite her mother's obvious dislike of the woman, but the events of her childhood that she relates are mostly typical, everyday experiences, rather than intimate events that explain her extraordinary affection. It is only later, in the final few chapters, that Salz explains that she believes jealousy is the reason for her mother's disdain; I found it disappointing that Salz never questioned her mother about her dislike of Miss Hanna. Salz is able to uncover some information about Miss Hanna's earlier life, such as the names of her parents and the orphanage where she lived after her mother's death when she was five years old. However, little information was available to her, and there are several pages of what appears to be pure speculation about her parents' lives. All in all, I would say that the book is a bit of a disappointment, with little to demonstrate the feelings that drove the author to write it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  4. 4 out of 5

    Naura

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Roeder

  7. 5 out of 5

    Niki Worrell

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Yudkin

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

  11. 5 out of 5

    April Krause

  12. 4 out of 5

    Monique Hill

  13. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pat Eells

  16. 5 out of 5

    K.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  18. 4 out of 5

    J

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rose Vommaro

  28. 4 out of 5

    Zainab

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

  30. 5 out of 5

    Terry Foster

  31. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Lee

  32. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  33. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  34. 4 out of 5

    Julie Drucker

  35. 4 out of 5

    Katie Harder-schauer

  36. 4 out of 5

    Connie Chu

  37. 5 out of 5

    Ashlyn

  38. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Beck

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