There’s a long history of nanny memoirs in British literature, from life-with-the-famous tell-alls like The Little Princesses by Marion Crawford, a long-time governess to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose (the royals never forgave her), to alien-culture encounters, like The Diary of an American Au Pair by Marjorie Leet Fordin, in which a nanny to the family of an MP finds a volume of spanking porn beside her employers’ bed. (Fordin’s point: It was all very British.) But Nina Stibbe’s Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home, disarming and unexpectedly hilarious, mixing life-with-the-famous with a dash of life-in-an-alien-culture, trumps her predecessors. The sense of being gently tickled, page after page, with funny turns of phrase and silly, good-humored anecdotes seems to come to Stibbe directly from that great British charm-machine, P. G. Wodehouse.

Stibbe began...

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