Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#21: Malibu Nanny: Adventures of the Former Kardashian Nanny (Pam Behan)

on April 27, 2013

I have very little interest in the lives of the reality stars known as the Kardashians. Honestly, I probably couldn’t pick their pictures out if I was asked. I read Malibu Nanny because I know the author and felt our friendship deserved giving the book a read. What I thought was going to be a typical “tell-all” turned out to be a beautiful memoir of mistakes, loss, and love.

Pam Behan and I were both students at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where we studied music. Pam was a year ahead of me, but we got to know each other since we were both majoring in piano performance. I always knew Pam’s schedule was hectic because she was a full-time student, waited tables at a local restaurant, and was a nanny for the Jenner family (as in olympic gold-medalist Bruce Jenner), but I had no idea HOW crazy Pam’s life was. Now that I’ve read her memoir, I am shocked that Pam ever had time to complete her degree and maintain a semblance of sanity. Pam later becomes employed by the Kardashians when Mr. Jenner and Kris Kardashian marry.

Malibu Nanny is full of funny stories of the family as you would expect. The central character in the saga, however, is Pam herself. As readers, we watch as this young woman from Minnesota copes with the fast-paced, materialistic southern California society while trying to maintain her Midwestern values. Along the way, Pam faces the challenges associated with attempting to establish a career and start a family. Her difficulties with men throughout her life are tragic and explain why both Bruce Jenner and her father hold such important roles in her life.

As Pam’s journey takes her away from the craziness of Hollywood to Jackson, Tennessee and Aberdeen, South Dakota, Pam finds herself on a spiritual journey as well. Due to troublesome circumstances, Pam finds herself running to the God of her childhood and finds a renewed faith that is based in an authentic and personal relationship with a loving Savior. Pam tells the story of her life with such grace and honesty that her testimony of faith doesn’t feel preachy and comes along rather unexpectedly in the book. I have always known Pam to be a warm and loving person whose smile is infectious. It’s wonderful to see that the smile has grown because of Jesus.

Several passages in the later portion of the memoir spoke to my heart. In one of my favorite passages, Pam is reflecting over mistakes she has made in the area of relationships.  Pam states, “I reflect on some of my poor choices in men, and the years of heartache it caused. Yet, even the worst mistake of all — my choice to stand by Terry — was an integral part of the plan….God specializes in redeeming bad choices.  Now I look at all that pain, and where I am now, and I say this is why! Every bit of that horrible pain was worth it to have this most precious gift.” (p. 175) Isn’t it thrilling to know that “God specializes in redeeming bad choices?” Like Pam, I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes. I’m so thankful that they have been and continue to be redeemed by my loving Heavenly Father.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever wondered where their life was taking them. While Malibu Nanny shares some stories about the famous people Pam has encountered over the years (including the time Pam was dating mega-star Sylvester Stallone!), the memoir is really one woman’s story of finding herself while chasing her dreams and ultimately finding herself in a place of perfect peace.

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