The Perfect Nanny: A Novel by Leila SlimaniThe Perfect Nanny: A Novel by Leila Slimani

The Perfect Nanny: A Novel

byLeila Slimani

Paperback | January 9, 2018

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*National Bestseller*

“A great novel. . . . Incredibly engaging and disturbing . . . You read the entire novel knowing something terrible is coming. In that, Slimani has us in her thrall.” —Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

“A book . . . that I’ve thought about pretty much every day . . . [It] felt less like an entertainment, or even a work of art, than like a compulsion. I found it extraordinary.” —Lauren Collins, The New Yorker

“One of the most important books of the year. You can’t unread it.” —Barrie Hardymon, NPR’s Weekend Edition


She has the keys to their apartment. She knows everything. She has embedded herself so deeply in their lives that it now seems impossible to remove her.
 
When Myriam decides to return to work as a lawyer after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their son and daughter. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic Paris apartment, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, motherhood, and madness—and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.

The #1 international bestseller and winner of France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt
Leila Slimani is the first Moroccan (and pregnant) woman to win France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt, which she won for The Perfect Nanny. A journalist and frequent commentator on women’s and human rights, she is French president Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for the promotion of the French language and cu...
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Title:The Perfect Nanny: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 0.61 inPublished:January 9, 2018Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143132172

ISBN - 13:9780143132172

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not a typical thriller The author does not write you typically thriller this book would be better categorized as a psychological drama. The book highlights that people are not perfect and struggles of characters living with mental illness. The book is not what I was expecting but I still enjoyed the book.
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Totally worth your time This book is a clever well written suspenseful story. It keeps you interested till the very end. The characters are fantastic and Ms. Slimani has made some important statements about social class and made me think about how carefully or not we choose the people that look after our children. I also loved the French-ness of this book. Really enjoyed this.
Date published: 2018-06-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good but not a favourite Really short and quick read that didn't have me super focused and interested in the story line.
Date published: 2018-06-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A bit of a let down Started off strong and then the ending felt rushed. It wasn't what i was hoping for. A quick read though if you still want to give it a shot
Date published: 2018-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must Read!!!! Finished this book in 48hours. Every page you wanted to know more. However the ending left you wanting more...
Date published: 2018-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite Thriller! This is my favourite thriller in a long time. I enjoyed how it dealt with interesting social issues, the writing was good, and the premise unique.
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great a book. NOT a thriller. It's a drama. I am surprised to see so many negative reviews here. It seems to me most of them are coming from people who expected this book to be a typical thriller. Which it is not. It is a psychological drama. It shows well, how certain people cross the line between sanity and madness. How characters form. None of the characters in this book is perfect, nobody is completely happy, everyone has their own struggles and can be blamed. It is an interesting, yet quite a short book. Definitely worth reading, if you like reading books about people with mental health issues, deep internal struggles and not very easy lives.
Date published: 2018-05-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not what I was expecting... a letdown Just an okay read for me. It's really short and quick, devastating and a good character study, but not particularly memorable.
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I was expecting. In my opinion the book was cut quite short and there could have been an extra 100-200 pages surrounding the tragic event at the end of the book. There was a lot of build up leading towards this event that everyone reading is waiting to find out, but then it tells you and then 'the end'.. Other than that the book was well written and its good for a short read.
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I was anxious to read this book since I read good reviews. Book started with a bang, in the sense that you know something bad will happen. The storyline leads up to that event, and was not bad but didn't always flow nicely in my opinion. Then all of a sudden, the last couple of pages of the book are about this event and then the book is done. Nothing suspenseful to me in this book.
Date published: 2018-05-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not What I was Expecting I went into this book not actually knowing what it was about. I assumed the Nanny would be a young person, but It wasn't. That was okay. It was a good idea on paper, but I think the book just lacked something. I was excited to read it and bought it right away. Bad Idea. I would have rather waited to get it at the library. Boring, and hard to follow. I didn't understand her motives for the killings (no spoilers it's on the first page) and some things didn't add up. I heard it was being made into a movie but I hope not. It's a quick read that you don't have to put too much though into but that's about the only good thing I can say about it.
Date published: 2018-05-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from This had such great potential It started off great,was a quick read.... but the ending was terrible. Lot of questions left, loose ends. would only recommend if you want a quick vacation read (I read it on a plane ride home ~5 hour trip)
Date published: 2018-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unfortunate Ending The book kept me entertained the whole way through but the ending left me confused and my questions unanswered.
Date published: 2018-05-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh Was a quick easy ready but overall would not recoomend
Date published: 2018-05-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from meh It was ok. A very quick read. I wish the end would have been better. An easy read for on vacation or when you have a few minutes to pick up a book. Not as good as I had hoped.
Date published: 2018-05-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Confusing Definitely intrigued in the beginning and is a fast read as you want to know what will happen, how did things get to where the book started from. However, was disappointed with the end.
Date published: 2018-05-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Depressing and hard to read This book began with a beautiful story about a family and their child. Then, it turned out to be all about this nanny who was possibly mentally unstable and what she did to try to be as perfect as possible. Quite a cold story for someone who has a child and who wants nothing but the best for their children. I wouldn't recommend it, unless you need something hard on the head and the heart in your life.
Date published: 2018-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a real page turner... but I wouldn't compare it to Gone Girl at all. Also surprised by the info on the very first page. Still it kept my attention.
Date published: 2018-04-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Confused I heard a lot of good stuff about this book. It was written well but I genuinely don't understand what happened. The preview of the book already sets the plot and you know the ending but the main question is why, which was not answered. I don't really understand how this was a thriller... everything was obvious and no surprises....
Date published: 2018-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So creepy Easy read that keeps you turning the page to see the end results. Good book, writing is a bit weird (possibly because it's a translation). You won't like it if you like your books to wrap up nicely. But this is what makes it realistic.
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dont waste your time A friend gave this to me and it was thoroughly disappointing. I was expecting something great and as i kept reading i thought it has to get better. It did not. Dont bother with this one
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing Book I did not care for how this book was written. It was not a book that you did not want to put down. I found the ending to be a disappointment.
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from SUCKS What a terrible book. WOW! Not worth the read. While I got this as a gift. I finished reading it at last. Its going right under the NOT SO GREAT BOOK COLLECTION
Date published: 2018-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it I love this book, it was a good read and I recomment it to everyone!
Date published: 2018-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Quite a page turner. I didn't expect it to have thriller elements and it did have it so that's cool. I wish the ending was different, but still an interesting read.
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page turner Couldnt put this book down! Great read #plumreviews
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eerie and dark, loose strings, but probaby a good book club read. Who do you trust with the lives of those most precious to you? Do you even entertain the idea of someone else caring for your children? What is the importance of your career, your husbands' career? What do your family and friends say about your choices? When you find what seems like an ideal solution, then you start ignoring your instincts and the most unimaginable tragedy happens. This story allows the reader experience with the worst possible outcome for parents who put their trust in someone...the lives of those most precious to them. A page turner, and a quick read that will leave you with many questions.
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good read this book is such a good read and you don't want to put it down. #plumreviews
Date published: 2018-04-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Decent Read to Pass the Time I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but I honestly was expecting a much more interesting read. To be fair, I think that the story was still very engaging and found that it was a good book to read in my free time, but I was disappointed by the overall ending. I still have many questions when all was said and finished. I'm not sure if I may have missed the point or some vital detail somewhere between the pages, but this book started off strong and sort of dwindled out to a so-so conclusion. Still would recommend to those looking to pass the time.
Date published: 2018-04-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Snoozefest! Such a good premise but overall a very disappointing read. I felt like it was 200 pages full of nothing. I continued to read it hoping that the ending would be the ultimate climax or provide some kind of earth shattering explanation. Instead, the ending was just as lacklustre as the rest of the novel.
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay I thought this book was going to be amazing after reading the first few chapters. It was okay, I expected more from the ending
Date published: 2018-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Perfectly dark This book was a page turner from the very beginning. It was very dark and hard more depth than I expected. I liked the way the story unfolded and how we met people connected to the nanny along the way. I didn't like the ending, but overall it was a great thriller.
Date published: 2018-04-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Slow and the ending was horrible I was so disappointed with the ending of the book. The story had a lot of build up to and the ending just left everything unexplained
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from What happened with the ending? It was a good read until the ending. Once it got close to the end, it just ended. I was waiting for more, at least an explanation or a wrap up, but there was nothing. Could have been so much more.
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read Easy and quick read. I enjoyed it and found it was easy to read with my kids running around the house and lots of interruptions!!
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from bestseller? Not as impressed as what it is described and said to be the bestseller, was hoping to get more out of the book, but a little disappointed.
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not impressed Judged the book by its cover and expected more... the title is misleading. Would recommend other thrillers
Date published: 2018-03-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointment The title of the book grabbed my attention. However, this novel was far from a good read. I kept waiting for something to happen, it was a disappointment to say the least. There is nothing that speaks Gone Girl-ish about this book.
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating This book was hard to put down. A great suspense and the attention to each character's backstory added so much to the plot
Date published: 2018-03-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from So disappointing Like pretty much everyone else has said, this book could have been so much more. The ending was like the author just woke up one day and decided they were just done writing.
Date published: 2018-03-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page turning entertainment Very good read! Entertaining and was hard to put down. A few late nights spent reading this book :)
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not as Good as it could have been Not at all similar to GONE GIRL, comparing is ridiculous. Not much suspense & at times a lot of "OK, get on with it".
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh I feel like I missed the memo when it comes to this book. I love the thriller genre but billing this book as anything close to "Gone Girl" set my expectations way too high. I ended the book asking myself 'that's it?".
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from JAW DROPPING this book really did make my jaw hit the floor. its actually relateable and extremely scary. loved it.
Date published: 2018-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick Read This book had some creepy good parts! It was an easy read on the beach!
Date published: 2018-03-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh! I thought this was going to be a good book, but it turns out it was not that good at all. Premise was interesting but the story itself was not that great.
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I expected so much more from the book because of the plot but it really was quite bland. I didn’t like any of the characters, they were poorly developed and it never really felt like it got going.
Date published: 2018-03-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright It was a pretty quick read, the writing style is good but the ending seemed quite rushed and didn't really explain/give more detail into the events that unfold in the beginning of the book, which is what got me hooked in the first place!
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from quick read well written, but was left unfinished and seemed rushed towards the end #plumreview
Date published: 2018-03-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Meh I heard a bit of hype with this one so I decided to give a shot. Needless to say, I was not mpressed
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Quick Read I had high hopes for this book, but was disappointed and left wanting more. The story take plenty of creepy turns but it felt unfinished.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not the best I honestly found this book pretty boring. I found it pretty bland and wasn't really excited to pick it up and read. It kind of felt like the book was left unfinished.
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It's okaaayy Not as exciting or chilling as I expect it would be. It was an easy read though.
Date published: 2018-03-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay I expected more from this book. Slightly predictable, but a quick read overall.
Date published: 2018-03-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting characters The characters are what drove me to continue reading; the parts about the impact of solitude and how individuals coping with immense issues can react differently was interesting. That said, there were parts that fell flat as the central character's motivation was never fully connected to the reader. The beginning is such a powerful set up that never felt fully followed through
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This is written beautifully and a great psychological thriller. I finished it in 2 days, couldn't put it down
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not great! I think there was a lot left out in the book. It left you with a lot of unfinished issues. It was like they just wanted to get it done and finish the book! It seemed jumbled.
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It was okay... Had the potential for so much more but was let down by the conclusion. Beginning was captivating, fell a bit flat in the middle but wanted more answers/finale.
Date published: 2018-02-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No! I didn't like it. I guess I was expecting more because of the hype around it but it was a disappointment.
Date published: 2018-02-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nope I bought this book because of all the hype I heard about it. I was first surprised that a $22 book was that short. Second I found it uneventful. Not enough character build up or suspense or plot. Just fell terribly flat for me.
Date published: 2018-02-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not what I expected The book had a lot of potential to be super captivating, but I think the story got lost in translation somewhere
Date published: 2018-02-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Liked it This is a quick and easy read, although I did find a few parts in the book disturbing,
Date published: 2018-02-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh I'm not sure what the hype is around this book. Out of all of the thrillers I've read, this one might be at the bottom of the barrel. I would not recommend it. The first half has a lot of build-up, but the second half was very disappointing; there was a lot left to be desired and I also had a lot of unanswered questions
Date published: 2018-02-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from okay This book does not explain very clearly why the nanny chose this course of action. Not terribly well written. Finished it expecting a few more answers but disappointed.
Date published: 2018-02-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from meh this book was not the greatest! It could have been laid out much better! and i dont understand why its number 1
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Blah I thought this book was terrible. How is it really a top thriller? The only good thing about it was it made you want to keep reading. The ending was terrible, and I found it quite choppy. I would not recommend this to anyone.
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was good Before i even started this book i ended up reading the reviews about it.. So when i started reading my mind kind of already had a idea of this book. But i have to say i did enjoy it. Some parts where alittle slow but not slow enough that i didnt want to finish it. All in all was a ok book and i'm glad that i read it.
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh I had high hopes, with the review that said it was like Gone Girl. It was good, but I did not like the ending, didn't find it satisfying.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from interesting it was interesting enough for me. iI didn't mind it
Date published: 2018-02-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from On the fence A good read but not a great one - no unexpected twists or turns, although, the subject matter of the story may be disconcerting for some readers.
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice story Good book I liked it a lot. The author did a great job and the story was enjoyable.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Excellent Drama This was a truly interesting, thoughtful look at a tragedy from the lens of the characters psychology, and how truly innocent moments can be the intersection to devastation in life. Louise, is the perfect nanny, who has just murdered the two children left in her charge (no spoilers here - this occurs in the first two chapters of the book). Unwinding from here, Leila Slimani does incredible work of gently unfolding the story of who Louise was, and how she came to be a part of the Masses family, so deeply woven into the fabric of their lives. The book is chilling, as the reader begins to see signs of Louise's mental decline, and shadows of who she is when she is not the nanny. I wanted to scream out to the parents so many times while reading this. The tension is palpable, as you watch the cracks begin to show in Louise, and the repeated opportunities for Myriam and Paul to remove Louise from their family fold. This was a truly wonderful look at how quietly tragedy can sneak up on us, and how much more devastating that tragedy can be when there are no clear answers for WHY. An excellent, easy, fast paced read, that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Lame Not that great of a book. Put it down and went back to it later.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointment This book was super quick and easy to read. Nothing much happened throughout and that includes the ending. It was boring and a big disappointment. And also parts of were so disturbing and weird.
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disturbing I am at a loss to say if I liked this book or not. It was a very quick and easy read, so I will have to admit it was captivating. However if you presently employ a nanny, or have plans to look into employing one I would say DO NOT READ THIS STORY! The subject matter frankly disturbed me. As a parent, nothing makes you more vulnerable than your child being in a dangerous situation and I would hate to see unjustified doubts planted by reading this story.
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not worth it This book started off with such a bang that it set such high expectations. Ultimately, the story fell flat and it was unable to deliver on the high expectations that it set from the beginning. It seemed to drag on and the author was never really able to give this book the ending that it deserved. It's a shame considering it had so much potential to begin with.
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it Glad I picked it up! It was a bit predictable but with enough twist & turns to keep it interesting.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lost in translation? Perhaps I should have read it in French. The concept is interesting; the end is the beginning, hence your expectation is skewed, the actual end fell flat.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not what I thought This was not a bad boom just not what I was expecting after reading about it online. I feel like there could have been a lot more to this book.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quick and captivating read! The cover and title of this novel really peaked my curiosity and I was not disappointed with it! I read it in a few hours because it was just that good. It's different from most other thrillers since you immediately know how the story ends and then continue reading to unravel why it happened. Very interesting and well developed characters too!
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Engrossing Myriam and Paul Massés live in a small apartment in Paris's tenth arrondissement with their young daughter Mila and baby Adam. Shortly after having her second child, Myriam realises the life of a stay-at-home mother is not for her. When the opportunity to join an old friend's law firm presents itself, she jumps at the chance to pursue her dreams of becoming a brilliant lawyer. With both parents working it becomes necessary to find someone to look after the children, so they begin interviewing for a nanny. The fastidious Louise is exactly what they are looking for and she quickly becomes indispensable to the family. The opening chapter is jarring in its brutality, as the ending is presented at the beginning of the book. The author then proceeds to tell of the events that led the characters to this point, bringing the story full circle to its startling conclusion. The relationship between the central personalities is oddly claustrophobic and builds effective suspense toward the denouement. I did find some parts of the story to be slightly underwhelming, but overall The Perfect Nanny is an engrossing, sinister, little novel.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dissapointing I was expecting more from this book, was disappointed, it left me wanting something else/more
Date published: 2018-01-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed I was disappointed with this book. It was highly recommended as a page turner that draws you right in. The first chapter definitely drew me in and it was a page turner in the sense that I kept reading in hopes it would get more interesting and an actual plot would develop. It was very discombobulated and jumped around introducing new characters who didn't add to the story. The character of the Nanny was interesting and complex but I still felt there was more to be told about her. This book for me was really only 2.5 stars. Pretty disappointed.
Date published: 2018-01-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Was a very quick read, nothing too exciting but okay overall
Date published: 2018-01-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh Read the reviews before buying this and really hoped it would be more than what it has turned out to be. I don't like the writing, not sure if it is the author's style of the fact it was translated from French to English, which makes some of the sayings quite off. The book is written from EVERY character's perspective which makes it difficult to follow as there aren't any indication as to who's speaking really... it changes rather quickly and i found myself wondering why a man would say that when it was actually on to the next character. Not my favourite
Date published: 2018-01-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay A couple of exciting parts in between a lot of boring parts
Date published: 2018-01-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wasn't my favourite It was kind of hard to follow along for me. May read it again later to see if it makes more sense.
Date published: 2018-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Predictable premise but some good twists & turns
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute and riveting A page turner, albeit boring at times.
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a must read great plot that captures your attention from the beginning!
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from disappointed Being called "the French Gone Girl" and applauded by the author of The Girl in The The Red Coat, I expected a more suspenseful story. The author is a strong story teller and gives a very vivid picture of the characters and their lives. But there's no plot twist, nothing unexpected. The opening gives you the ending and once you realize who has the mental issues...
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A must read. 4.25 stars. This is an important and necessary read, imo. It is not your typical thriller in any sense and is not gory. It is straightforward and well-written, full of complex layers of personalities and characters that you will think about for a long time. I rushed out to buy it and read through with little distraction. I did not expect Louise, the nanny, to garner my understanding or sympathy in any way when I began and yet, she did. Her own story was so lonely, fraught with difficulty and a life many live but few, if any, deserve. Add to that the progression of her relationship with the family and I felt that so often, they unwittingly shamed her, made her feel less-than, neglected to help her or reach out in any way. Their own selfishness and guilt was often laid at her feet. Their shifting ideas about themselves made them scrutinize her in an unfair way, adding to her desperation. The narrator shares this crippling despair with nobody except you, the reader. My heart ached. When a human being's basic needs go unmet for so long, it alters them. This story is loosely based on the Krim/Ortego case in NYC, according to an author interview I heard.
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok liked but not a top pick for me
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW! A TRUE PAGE-TURNER This thriller is: AMAZING. Fast paced with non-stop excellent writing, on the part of the author. The story line is BRILLIANT. I could picture everything so vividly with this thriller. It made me think about the time that my husband and I, were interviewing potential nannies for our baby, before I had to go back to work. I felt sick to my stomach, just thinking that a stranger would be taking care of my little boy. We were lucky to have my husband's aunt help us out instead. But then, we had to move to another province and with this, I had no choice but to trust a stranger, who came daily into our home to care for our young son. It was a disaster....not as bad as in the book...but I was terrified to leave for work. I ended up finding a better situation but this book really brought back some past memories of how things can go wrong, whenever a stranger cares for you child; one who is in your home on a daily basis. LOVED THIS BOOK. TALENTED AUTHOR. FANTASTIC WRITING. It had me on the edge of my seat, the whole time that I was reading this (read it in a couple of days). WOW!
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from On Edge of My Seat! Fantastic book!!! Hard to put down! Great NEW MUST READ for 2018!!!
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from love it!! so good!! read it in one night!!
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super excellent! I had been a nanny, and so far my employers always up roared me with reverberating compliments of how I manage the households and the kids. I never understood the point of view of the mom, because I was not a mom yet at that time, why they always ended up in jealousy whenever I got confident in doing my responsibilities until I read this. Thanks to the author!
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! Fantastic thriller, hard to put down!!
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from pretty interesting interesting book i would say, very suspenseful
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average A good thriller - perhaps a bit too easy of a read but still enjoyable.
Date published: 2018-01-07

Read from the Book

“My nanny is a miracle-worker.” That is what Myriam says when she describes Louise’s sudden entrance into their lives. She must have magical powers to have trans­formed this stifling, cramped apartment into a calm, light- filled place. Louise has pushed back the walls. She has made the cupboards deeper, the drawers wider. She has let the sun in.  On the first day, Myriam gives her a few instructions. She shows her how the appliances work. Pointing to an object or a piece of clothing, she repeats: “Be careful with that. I’m very attached to it.” She makes recommendations about Paul’s vinyl collection, which the children must not touch. Louise nods, silent and docile. She observes each room with the self-assurance of a general standing before a territory he is about to conquer. In the weeks that follow her arrival, Louise turns this hasty sketch of an apartment into an ideal bourgeois inte­rior. She imposes her old-fashioned manners, her taste for perfection. Myriam and Paul can’t get over it. She sews the buttons back on to jackets that they haven’t worn for months because they’ve been too lazy to look for a needle. She hems skirts and pairs of trousers. She mends Mila’s clothes, which Myriam was about to throw out without a qualm. Louise washes the curtains yellowed by tobacco and dust. Once a week, she changes the sheets. Paul and Myriam are overjoyed. Paul tells her with a smile that she is like Mary Poppins. He isn’t sure she understands the compliment. At night, in the comfort of their clean sheets, the cou­ple laughs, incredulous at their new life. They feel as if they have found a rare pearl, as if they’ve been blessed. Of course, Louise’s wages are a burden on the family budget, but Paul no longer complains about that. In a few weeks, Louise’s presence has become indispensable.  When Myriam gets back from work in the evenings, she finds dinner ready. The children are calm and clean, not a hair out of place. Louise arouses and fulfills the fantasies of an idyllic family life that Myriam guiltily nurses. She teaches Mila to tidy up behind herself and her parents watch dumbstruck as the little girl hangs her coat on the peg. Useless objects have disappeared. With Louise, noth­ing accumulates anymore: no dirty dishes, no dirty laun­dry, no unopened envelopes found later under an old magazine. Nothing rots, nothing expires. Louise never ne­glects anything. Louise is scrupulous. She writes every­thing down in a little flower-covered notebook. The times of the dance class, school outings, doctor’s appointments. She copies the names of the medicines the children take, the price of the ice creams she bought for them at the fairground, and the exact words that Mila’s schoolteacher said to her. After a few weeks, she no longer hesitates to move ob­jects around. She empties the cupboards completely, hangs little bags of lavender between the coats. She makes bouquets of flowers. She feels a serene contentment when—with Adam asleep and Mila at school— she can sit down and contemplate her task. The silent apartment is completely under her power, like an enemy begging for forgiveness. But it’s in the kitchen that she accomplishes the most extraordinary wonders. Myriam has admitted to her that she doesn’t know how to cook anything and doesn’t really want to learn. The nanny prepares meals that Paul goes into raptures about and the children devour, without a word and without anyone having to order them to finish their plate. Myriam and Paul start inviting friends again, and they are fed on blanquette de veau, pot-au-feu, ham hock with sage and delicious vegetables, all lovingly cooked by Louise. They congratulate Myriam, shower her with compliments, but she always admits: “My nanny did it all.”   When Mila is at school, Louise attaches Adam to her in a large wrap. She likes to feel the child’s chubby thighs against her belly, his saliva that runs down her neck when he falls asleep. She sings all day for this baby, praising him for his laziness. She massages him, taking pride in his folds of flesh, his round pink cheeks. In the mornings, the child welcomes her with gurgles, his plump arms reaching out for her. In the weeks that follow Louise’s arrival, Adam learns to walk. And this boy who used to cry every night sleeps peacefully until morning. Mila is wilder. She is a small, fragile girl with the pos­ture of a ballerina. Louise ties her hair in buns so tight that the girl’s eyes look slanted, pulled toward her tem­ples. Like that, she resembles one of those medieval hero­ines with a broad forehead, a cold and noble expression. Mila is a difficult, exhausting child. Any time she becomes irritated, she screams. She throws herself to the ground in the middle of the street, stamps her feet, lets herself be dragged along to humiliate Louise. When the nanny crouches down and tries to speak to her, Mila turns away. She counts out loud the butterflies on the wallpaper. She watches herself in the mirror when she cries. This child is obsessed by her own reflection. In the street, her eyes are riveted to shop windows. On several occasions she has bumped into lampposts or tripped over small obstacles on the sidewalk, distracted by the contemplation of her own image. Mila is cunning. She knows that crowds stare, and that Louise feels ashamed in the street. The nanny gives in more quickly when they are in public. Louise has to take detours to avoid the toyshop on the avenue, where the lit­tle girl stands in front of the window and screams. On the way to school, Mila drags her feet. She steals a raspberry from a greengrocer’s stall. She climbs on to windowsills, hides in porches, and runs away as fast as her legs will carry her. Louise tries to go after her while pushing the stroller, yelling the girl’s name, but Mila doesn’t stop until she comes to the very end of the sidewalk. Sometimes Mila regrets her bad behavior. She worries about Louise’s paleness and the frights she gives her. She becomes loving again, cuddly. She makes it up to the nanny, clinging to her legs. She cries and wants to be mothered. Slowly, Louise tames the child. Day after day, she tells her stories, where the same characters always recur. Or­phans, lost little girls, princesses kept as prisoners, and castles abandoned by terrible ogres. Strange beasts—birds with twisted beaks, one-legged bears and melancholic unicorns—populate Louise’s landscapes. The little girl falls silent. She stays close to the nanny, attentive, impatient. She asks for certain characters to come back. Where do these stories come from? They emanate from Louise, in a continual flood, without her even thinking about it, with­out her making the slightest effort of memory or imagina­tion. But in what black lake, in what deep forest has she found these cruel tales where the heroes die at the end, after first saving the world?

Editorial Reviews

“Exquisite . . . In Slimani’s hands, the unthinkable becomes art. The Perfect Nanny won France’s most prestigious literary award. . . . One can see why the judges were wowed.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air“If you are a mother, whatever kind of mother you aspire to be, you’ll know what kind of mother you are after reading Slimani. If you are not a mother, the insights that she administers can be no less jolting. . . . Like Jenny Offill, Slimani can write ravishingly of female bodies, even postpartum ones. . . . The novelist Rachel Cusk has chronicled what motherhood did to her; Slimani examines what mothering is doing to society.” —Lauren Collins, The New Yorker“If you’ve ever taken care of a kid, even if, just on a bus, someone has handed you a child for five seconds as they rummage through their purse, this will do something to you. . . . At the end of reading this book, I was so devastated, but I really felt like I was looking at the world through new eyes.” —Barrie Hardymon, NPR’s Weekend Edition“[A] slim dagger of a novel . . . You won’t move until you reach the last page.” —People“Deliciously twisty . . . Slimani’s exploration of race and class is razor-sharp and brilliantly provides the fuel for a hair-raising tale of domestic horror.” —Entertainment Weekly, “The Ten Best New Thrillers to Read This Spring”“The first ‘hot’ novel of 2018 . . . Unflinching . . . assured . . . The book aspires toward the taut elegance of that classic nanny nightmare tale, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, and, in language and complexity, it comes pretty darn close. . . . Talk about a guilty pleasure.” —The Washington Post“So twisted and creepy, but absolutely captivating.” —Lauren Christensen, The New York Times Book Review (podcast)“It’s excruciating, and almost more than anything that I could imagine—and therefore I read on.” —Pamela Paul, The New York Times Book Review (podcast)“Brilliantly observed . . . Slimani is brilliantly insightful about the peculiar station nannies assume within the households of working families.” —The Wall Street Journal“Dazzling . . . A portrait etched in shards of glass . . . Slimani is an astute observer of power politics in the home. . . . The hints of France’s greatest short-story writer emerge in the first pages. . . . We begin The Perfect Nanny in horror, and then miraculously, swiftly, Slimani creates a person out of that powerful spectacle. In this fashion the novel functions like an extended Maupassant story turned inside out.” —John Freeman, The Boston Globe“A taut page-turner about what can happen when no one pays attention to what matters most . . . Illuminates the treatment of domestic workers, the petty ugliness that can be endemic to marriage, and the primal fears that accompany having children.” —O, The Oprah Magazine“I devoured the entire thing in a day or two. I read it . . . horrified and anxious, yet unable to put it down. It’s a gripping read . . . : a little window into a person’s brain as they unravel into the unthinkable.” —Lori Keong, New York“If you love dark, propulsive thrillers, you’ll be hooked. . . . Like a good horror film, it offered a safe environment in which to explore all my latent fears. . . . A painfully lurid, one-eye-open kind of pleasure.” —Leah McLaren, MSN“Spare and evocative . . . A book that haunts you long after you’ve put it down.” —The Cut“[An] unnerving cautionary tale . . . Pretty radical for a domestic thriller, but what’s more remarkable about this unconventional novel is the author’s intimate analysis of the special relationship between a mother and a nanny. . . . Slimani writes devastatingly perceptive character studies.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review“Chilling . . . A slim page-turner, The Perfect Nanny can be read in a single, shivery sitting. . . . It will make a great film.” —The Economist“Slimani ratchets up the tension here through close quarters, resentment and complicity. The book . . . is chilling and an important look at the unseen challenges faced by service workers.” —The Washington Post, “A Guide to the Best New Thrillers”“Grabs us by the throat . . . The story’s tension builds relentlessly. . . . Fans of psychological thrillers will find it a perfect start to their 2018 reading list.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune“A deft portrait of bourgeois family life in the 21st century . . . Readers aren’t likely to converge on a single interpretation of why Louise has done what she’s done. Ultimately, she holds sway as a symbol rather than as a psychological reality, a choice that makes this deftly told tale all the more eerie.” —The Atlantic“Like Gone Girl, the novel deserves praise for pulling off a tricky plot with nuance. . . . Slimani’s focus on race and class certainly elevates the book’s crime-drama stakes into something more complicated.” —The New Republic“More artfully composed than many of the books in its genre.” —The New York Times“A classic, even Dostoevskian, tale of one person’s descent into madness.” —The Millions“[A] stunner of an opening . . . Slimani’s characters are well drawn, and she laces her narrative with acute observations, and seems intent to let no one off the hook for the terrible act at the heart of the story. . . . [It] feels scarily real. . . . Her matter-of-fact tone adds a layer of creepiness. . . . Slimani gives us much to think about. . . . She comes across as an artist doomed to find the dark side in everything. . . . But that doom may be her great gift.” —WBUR“This brutal chiller has the same compulsive readability as Emma Donoghue’s Room.” —The Guardian“The ‘French Gone Girl’ . . . Anyone reading [it] can tell within a few paragraphs that its author is a mother . . . who has felt firsthand the perfect split of agony, ecstasy and mind-numbing boredom that motherhood entails.” —The Telegraph (UK)“The novel, which draws on elements from the real story of a nanny from the Dominican Republic who has been accused of killing two children under her care in New York in 2012, pieces together disparate events that culminate in a nightmarish outcome.” —The New York Times“This novel—a runaway hit in France—is coming to the United States this month, and it’s sure to take this country by storm, too.” —Bustle“Just as America became engulfed in Gone Girl and Girl on the Train last year, France became obsessed with The Perfect Nanny. . . . As taboo and shocking as the subject matter is, the underlying theme of women exploring their desires is what stands out. . . . A must-read.” —Hello Giggles“A devastating, entrancing, literary psychological drama supported by absorbing character studies . . . Readers won’t be able to look away.” —Booklist “Expertly probes [a mother’s] guilt at leaving her children with a stranger . . . Those seeking a thought-provoking character study will appreciate this gripping anatomy of a crime.” —Publishers Weekly“The why of this horrific crime remains unfathomable, rendering it all the more frightening.” —Kirkus Reviews“A darkly propulsive nail-biter overlain with a vivid and piercing study of class tensions.” —Library Journal, “Top Ten Titles for Winter Reading”