Cover image for The babysitter
Title:
The babysitter
Author:
Diamond, Diana.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
313 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780312280475
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

How far will one man and his wife go to protect their privileged lives?Gordon Acton is a wealthy congressional candidate with a successful business and a beautiful family.Voters admire his seemingly idyllic life, and he hopes they will be even more impressed by his desire to help underprivileged workers by hiring a young woman from a poor background as a babysitter for the children at the Acton summer home in Cape Cod.Not only is Teresa Santiago wise beyond her years, she's alluringly attractive and self-assured.But is she the answer to Gordon and Ellie's domestic woes and political aspirations, or a threat to everything they hold dear?After a drunken tryst with Teresa, Gordon finds himself in hot water, scrambling protect his reputation.And Ellie, writing her dissertation, finds herself the recipient of letters accusing her of plagiarism and worse.Blackmailed and desperate, Gordon and Ellie work out a deadly plan, which backfires horribly in a conclusion as shocking as it is gripping.AUTHORBIO: Diana Diamond, author of THE TROPHY WIFE, is the pseudonym of a critically acclaimed mystery and thriller writer.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this follow-up to the pseudonymous Diamond's Trophy Wife [BKL Mr 1 00], congressional candidate Gordon Acton is convinced that hiring a minority babysitter will help him get more votes. Initially, his wife, Ellie, is against allowing an unknown 19-year-old to care for her two children, but after meeting Theresa Santiago, she is won over by the young woman's credentials and modesty. Hired to spend the summer at the family's Cape Cod residence, Theresa continues to charm Acton and his wife, even after it turns out that some of her credentials are phony. Gradually, it dawns on husband and wife that their babysitter has control over both of them--Gordon because, while drunk, he had sex with Teresa, and Ellie because she may be guilty of plagiarism after accepting Ellie's "help" with her dissertation. To free themselves from the babysitter, the Actons devise a radical plan--and open the door to disaster. A multifaceted, remarkably suspenseful thriller. --Jenny McLarin


Publisher's Weekly Review

Some people can't help serving as mirrors of other people's failings and fears, and babysitter Theresa Santiago plays just that role vis-?-vis her WASPy employers in this tautly paced thriller. Although the title suggests the story is about Santiago, Diamond (The Trophy Wife) actually paints a vivid family portrait of political superstar Gordon Acton, his pedigreed wife and the couple's two bright and photogenic children. Acton is campaigning for a Massachusetts congressional seat, and it looks like he'll win. With his political profile in mind, he asks his wife, Ellie, to hire a Hispanic mother's helper. Ellie does so, but reluctantly, believing that the young woman will be ostracized by the mostly white population of Cape Cod where the family plans to spend the summer. Ellie hires the babysitter despite her misgivings, and Theresa turns out to be the perfect helper aiding Ellie with her doctoral thesis and winning over the children and even many of the snobbish and racist members of the Actons' club. Yet from the start it's clear that Theresa isn't exactly what she says she is. It's hard to know what is fact and what is fiction, especially when the Actons begin to suspect that their babysitter may be blackmailing them. Diamond has built her thriller around issues of race and class, and she asks: If the rich use the poor, is it so bad when the opposite happens? The political point-making is a bit heavy-handed at times, but that's a minor complaint when weighed against Diamond's thoughtful exposition and careful plotting. (July) FYI: Diamond is the pseudonym of "a critically acclaimed mystery and thriller writer." (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved