My Hollywood

My Hollywood

by Mona Simpson

Arlene Almas: In the well-to-do environs of Hollywood, children are cared for by nannies, either live-in or live-out, five days or seven. In "My Hollywood" the focus is on Lola, a Filipina nanny who starts out caring for Claire and Paul's baby Will while her own five children grow up in the Philippines. Lola's mission is to send home as much money as possible so her children can be educated and grow up to be professionals. She becomes part of a group of nannies, mostly Filipina, who share their stories and help each other through all kinds of troubles. At the same time, Claire enters the world of upper-class moms whose children are watched by these nannies; an inescapable air of competition grows around the children's development and the husbands' status. Claire struggles to advance in her career as a composer, becoming frustrated at the insufficient time available for her to work on her music, even with Lola's help, as Paul's growing success as a TV comedy writer inevitably takes precedence over Claire's work. The very close and loving relationship between Lola and Will (and later with another child named Laura) is beautifully brought to life, and adds immeasurably to the emotional depth of this wonderful story.
Rating: *****

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