• The cover of the book A Gate at the Stairs

    A Gate at the Stairs

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    A working couple employ a student, Tassie, as an unofficial part-time nanny for the child they want to adopt, although neither parent checks Tassie’s references. She forms a strong bond with the child, and when that relationship is threatened, her reaction may be familiar to other nannies in a similar position: “Perhaps I was clinging to something that wasn’t mine to love. Perhaps I was treasuring love that wasn’t mine to treasure.”

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  • The cover of the book Such a Fun Age

    Such a Fun Age

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    This Reese Book Club pick is a page-turning story about race and privilege, set around a young Black babysitter and her well-intentioned employer. Emira Tucker is watching Alix Chamberlain’s toddler and accused of kidnapping—just for being at a supermarket. A crowd gathers and the encounter is filmed. Emira is furious, and Alix resolves to make things right, but soon makes everything even more complicated.

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  • The cover of the book The Perfect Nanny

    The Perfect Nanny

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    This nanny is Louise: hard-working and multitalented. She’s “simultaneously invisible and indispensable…discreet and powerful,” and the family rapidly comes to rely on her. But they’re oblivious to the pressures in her private life, and to her growing emotional dependence on them—she tells herself “she is theirs and they are hers.” We know from the first line that “the baby is dead”; the rest of the book shows us the lead-up to this horrific crime.

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  • The cover of the book Friends and Strangers

    Friends and Strangers

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    After she and her husband relocate upstate, Elisabeth is fiercely homesick for New York City. Not that she’s adjusting well to any of it: motherhood, small town life, being away from her friends. When Elisabeth hires Sam to babysit her son, Gil, she starts to feel a bit better and begins to feel a kinship with Sam, who attends the women’s college and is an aspiring artist. But when both women start sticking their noses where they don’t belong, things go south, and fast.

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  • The cover of the book Woman No. 17

    Woman No. 17

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    The live-in nanny here is Esther, a student and artist who calls herself “S.” She’s hired to care for a separated couple’s 2-year-old son, and she pursues her own artistic project in her free time. The father eventually checks her references after the mother fails to, but these aren’t the sort of checks that will show up the unusual life decisions that S has recently made. The assumptions the family have made about her turn out to be all wrong.

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  • The cover of the book The Help

    The Help

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    A powerful, internationally bestselling book, this is set in Mississippi in the early 1960s. Aibileen is an African American maid, mourning the death of her own grownup son while looking after her seventeenth white child. She takes risks to raise awareness of the appalling inequalities in her community, while protecting the children in her care as well as she can. “All the babies I tend to, I count as my own,” she says. Her little charge tells her: “Aibee, you’re my real mama.”

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