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The Manny

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The Manny Cover

ISBN13: 9780385340403
ISBN10: 0385340400
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

With a keen eye and biting wit, in The Manny Holly Peterson tells the story of Jamie Whitfield, a Midwestern transplant who lives on Manhattan’s super-wealthy Upper East Side with her high-powered husband and their three children. Phillip, a lawyer, is rarely home, and Jamie’s oldest son is struggling with his father’s absences. With no other options for providing Dylan with the father figure he needs, Jamie hires Peter Bailey: a male nanny, or in the parlance of Park Avenue, a “manny.” Cool, competent, and compassionate, Peter has everything Dylan is looking for in a dad–as well as everything Jamie wants in a man. But as Phillip becomes more unpredictable and secretive, and with a major crisis looming at work, the last thing Jamie needs is to fall for the manny. Or is it?

Tina Brown calls The Manny “the funniest, sexiest ride in the limo lane since The Bonfire of the Vanities,” and this rollicking satire of manners, money, and mannies offers wicked laughs on every page, as well as plenty of topics ripe for discussion. The questions below are intended to assist your reading group’s dialogue about The Manny.

1. Prior to reading this book, had you ever heard of “mannies?” Do you think it makes a difference whether a child’s caregiver is male or female?

2. What was your opinion of Jamie at the beginning of the book? Did it change as the novel progressed?

3. What did you think of Jamie’s decision to hire Peter to help Dylan? Was Phillip’s negative attitude toward Peter justified?

4. Money plays an important–although divisive–role in many of the relationships in the book. What is Jamie’s attitude toward money? How does it differ from Phillip’s?

5. The novel opens a window into the lives of the über-rich of New York City’s Upper East Side. What did you learn about this subculture? Do you think that the book could have taken place in another locale? If so, where, and why?

6. “Just when I was convinced Phillip was a real monster, he would do something that would make me think that maybe I still could love him,” (page 17). What did you think of Phillip? Why do you think Jamie stayed with him as long as she did?

7. Were you surprised at Peter’s encounter with Ingrid in the linen closet? Did you realize it was him at first?

8. At Belvedere Castle, when Peter tries to tell Jamie he doesn’t believe Theresa Boudreaux’s story, why doesn’t Jamie listen?

9. At several points, Jamie admits that she’s intimidated by commanding men. Why? Does she finally get over her fear? How?

10. “I don’t buy that overused line about a woman’s job making her a better mother,” (page 100). What do you think is behind Phillip’s contempt for Jamie’s job? Why is her career a source of strife between them?

11. “I’m still trying to figure out if parents who are civil to each other, but not in love, are better than a separation,” (page 108). What do you think of this statement of Jamie’s? For the sake of their children, should an unhappy couple break up, or to try and fix their problems?

12. Why didn’t Jamie leave Phillip, especially after she caught him with Susannah? What would you do in her situation?

13. “You go crazy when I suggest you’re one of them….But then you play into it all,” (page 161). Is there truth to Peter’s assessment of Jamie?

14. Why do you think Jamie and her colleagues were so quick to believe Theresa Boudreaux's story? As members of the media, do you think they should have been more skeptical of her credibility, as well as wary of attempts by bloggers to make the mainstream media look bad? Do you think Jamie was the only person who deserved to lose her job when Theresa's deception was discovered?

15. What did you think of the book’s ending?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

titianlibrarian, December 15, 2007 (view all comments by titianlibrarian)
I loved this book. Loved it the way that you love a croissant when you're biting into its warm crispy outer layers--you fully enjoy the moment, but it's not meant to satisfy you in the long run. A high-powered corporate journalist with two children is getting fed up. For as many hours as she works, her lawyer husband is around even less. Her girls are handling everything ok, but her son is retreating further into his shell every day. To her staff of housekeeper, drivers and nanny, she adds a young graduate student to act as her son's "manny." It's totally unrealistic except in its descriptions of the insane lifestyles led by the rich in America. The draw of the book is observing the differences between "them" and "us," so the lack of real emotion is not too noticeable.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385340403
Author:
Peterson, Holly
Publisher:
The Dial Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Manhattan (new york, n.y.)
Subject:
Nannies
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
June 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.98x6.42x1.07 in. 1.23 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Manny Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Dial Press - English 9780385340403 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Jamie Whitfield, 36, lives on Park Avenue with her three children and her mostly absent high-powered attorney husband, Phillip, and works part-time as a producer for a prime-time news program. She hires Peter Bailey — 29 and biding his time until he get funding for his software business — to plug the household's gaps and be a father figure to nine-year-old Dylan. The two, of course, are attracted to each other, and when Peter's money comes through, he doesn't tell Jamie. Phillip's temper tantrums when lacking pulpless orange juice or a wooden-handled umbrella are surprisingly funny, and a subplot where Jamie chases a trashy but potentially career-making story is strong. Jamie's co-workers are more realistically portrayed than her shallow friends, but even Jamie's children come alive when they root for mom's success. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Brisk, crisp, knowing and fun."
"Review" by , "Holly Peterson writes about the rich with acute understanding and a drop-dead eye for detail. The funniest, sexiest ride in the limo lane since The Bonfire of the Vanities."
"Review" by , "Money, Manners, Mannys: Holly Peterson's debut is a fabulously sharp skewering of the silly-rich in New York. Observing a Park Avenue Working Mom falling for The Help had me both touched and tormented with laughter. I couldn't put it down. We should ALL get a Manny right now."
"Review" by , "I leapt on The Manny and devoured it in one sitting. It's a riveting portrait of millionaires' life on 'The Grid', full of eye-watering details. And it made me instantly want to hire a male nanny...for me!"
"Review" by , "Holly Peterson takes us on a locomotive tour through the living rooms of the Upper East Side and the newsrooms of the media elite. The trip is sexy, hilarious, and heart-wrenching."
"Review" by , "Fortunately, there's more substance to the novel than just a rehash of The Nanny Diaries: Y Chromosome Edition....My summer recommendation: Take The Manny to the beach."
"Review" by , "In Peterson's fast-paced debut novel, no topic is taboo, from the working world to preschoolers' birthday parties, from high fashion to sex. The dialog is quick and witty."
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