Book Review: The Perfect Nanny

IMG_3218Reading a novel—a good one—feels like holding a miniature world in my hands housed in a glass case. Peeking through the glass, I get to see the characters day and night, here and there; characters have no place to hide from me. Listening to the third-person omniscient narrator, I become aware of their past as well as their desires and realize that the present is not an independent segment in the timeline, but an overlap between the past and the future where both memories and desires influence numerous decisions made at the current moment.

On the surface, one main stream of events flows through a novel, but the players in it bring their own stories.

By the end of the first chapter of The Perfect Nanny, we know who committed a horrendous murder, when and where it happened and how. By the end of the book, we question whether Louise is in fact solely responsible for the murder or everyone has a share.

How presumptuous it is to say that I “know” someone. Everyone has a story to tell and nobody knows others’ full stories. How arrogant it is to judge someone based on shallow knowledge, snapshots of someone through my own lens. I dropped off The Perfect Nanny at the library, but these thoughts trailed me, becoming part of my past and already shaping my future.


What I pay for in a cafe


I was working in a local coffee shop and a lady, who was sitting next to me and looked agitated for a while, finally called an employee over. “It seems that the internet is not working.” The server looked at her phone and said sympathetically, “Yes, it is slow.” The customer continued, “Usually, it takes a second to download this file, but it hasn’t even started.” The server shrugged. “It sometimes depends on how many people are using the internet.” Then, she added. “You know, it’s free internet.”

Looking more frustrated, the customer packed up and walked off. In 2-3 minutes, a couple of customers also left holding their laptops in their hands. When asked, the same server gave them the same answer: “It’s free internet.”

That server thinks that she sells coffee to the customers. That’s what the menu says and that’s what the receipts show. However, the customers purchased the whole package of experience associated with coffee.

I’m afraid that this server would realize what the store actually sells only after she starts losing customers. Only after she starts to see a difference in the number of the receipts she collects.

I’m traveling… in a way


“Some scholars of literature claim that a book is really that virtual place your mind goes to when you are reading. It is a conceptual state of imagination that one might call ‘literature space.’” (p. 91 of The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly)

In my office building ditched by students who packed up for exciting trips for Spring Break, I brought an exciting world to me. Call me lazy; I’ll take it. Strictly speaking, I’m traveling too.