Just Like Family by Tasha Blaine was another book that I just picked up on a whim during my pre-vacation library spree. I love reading stories about people. Not necessarily autobiographies, although I do like them…more like case studies of a person’s life or lessons learned from a certain period. I think I enjoy earing about a life other than my own and about someone who is very different than I am. And that’s what attracted me to this book.
Just Like Family gives you an inside look at the lives of nannies and the families for which they work. Tasha Blaine came up with the idea for the book while working as a nanny while going to school for her MFA. Being a nanny was not her calling but, she did discover a few things about the world of nannies that sparked her interest in writing about them.
The book follows three nannies – Claudia, Vivian and Kim. Each of them presents a very different story but, they all share a common thread – their love of the children they care for. Claudia came to the US from the Dominican Republic and struggles as a single mother who is devoted to helping her family back in the Dominican while also trying to live her life here. Vivian is the super nanny. She always knew she would be a nanny and is dedicated to the profession and the twin boys she’s cared for for six years it in a way that borders on obsession. Kim was a nanny for several years before getting married but, now she is going through a divorce and hastily accepts a live-in nanny position for a young couple with a baby on the way.
Just Like Family switches between the lives of these three nannies and occasionally throws in information from the families they are working for. Claudia’s family contributes their side of the story the most while the other two families only have a slight contribution or none at all. It’s interesting to hear about the very different lives these three women lead but, you also see the similarities. They are different locations and in different stages of their life and career but face many of the same struggles.
This was an easy read and I though it provided great insight into a world that I know nothing about. It was interesting and well written but, definitely not for everyone.