Many families leave their children for years to be looked after byyoung people about whom they know next to nothing, from places theyhave barely heard of.
Who are these au pairs, why do they come andwhat is their experience of this arrangement?
Do they, for theirpart, find that they are treated as one of the family, and wouldthey even want to be?
After a year of careful research, this bookshows how most of our assumptions and expectations about au pairsare wrong.
This is the first book devoted to the lives of au pairs, theirleisure as well as their work time.
We see this world from the eyesof the visitors, and their unique perspective on what lies at theheart of our family life.
The book does not flinch from documentingthe realities of the situation D the racism and theproblematic behaviour of the au pairs themselves, as much as theignorance and exploitation they can be subject to.
The book is acase study in how to come to feel modern life empathetically fromthe viewpoint of one of those many migrant groups we take forgranted and rely on but rarely try to understand.