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24-KARAT KIDS by Judy Goldstein


by Judy Goldstein & Sebastian Stuart

Pub Date: June 13th, 2006
ISBN: 0-312-34327-2
Publisher: St. Martin's

This summer's Nanny Diaries features a newly minted pediatrician working among the wacky rich on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

When Shelley Green, a “schlumpy girl from Jackson Heights,” accepts a position at Madison Pediatrics, she suspects her world is about to change, and not just because she's surrounded by svelte doctors wearing Chanel suits and Manolo Blahnik heels. Among those she meets are parents asking for a letter of recommendation—for a 15-month-old; a formerly famous folksinger who refuses to change her daughter's diapers because “they mess with my muse”; and a plastic surgeon hoping to trade services (“You take care of my daughter in return for two procedures”). Along with the bizarre requests, Shelley tries to identify the mysterious ailment of 12-year-old Alison Young, whose mother recently died of a cerebral aneurysm. Are Alison's symptoms a manifestation of grief, or something else? As Shelley consults with specialists and considers the possibilities, she spends her weekends in the Hamptons as a trophy live-in pediatrician. There she meets hunky Josh Potter, for whom she dumps her staid fiancé Arthur, until the anti-Semitism of the Hamptons rears its ugly head. “Did you get a load of Josh Potter's new meal ticket? I wonder where they met—a B'nai Brith mixer?” No surprises here: Readers know that Shelley will ultimately reject the superficial Upper East Side culture (and Josh) to return to her roots—and walking tours of Brooklyn with Arthur—but not without a drastic weight loss, a chic new haircut and designer duds of her own.

Nice dialogue and pacing by Goldstein and Stuart (The Mentor, 1999) keep this Nanny clone racing along.