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The Perfect Nanny

By: Leila Slimani

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Imprint: Penguin Books

Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780143132172

Other Formats:

Electronic | Audiobook Download | Mass Market/Rack

On Sale: | Pages: 240

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*One of the 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR of The New York Times Book Review**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 EditionShe 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, by the author of Adèle
Slimani is an astute observer of power politics in the home, how it can produce volatile allegiances.... Narrating from a dazzling array of viewpoints, Slimani produces an ever-turning love triangle of possession and resentment.... Eventually, as we go back into Louise's head it becomes clear something has gone awry. Here the novel begins to erase the sympathy it so vividly won back. The result is a book that provokes horror only to slide it aside and challenge us to forget it. Typically the addition of empathy — rather than its subtraction — feels more like life.
—Boston Globe
Reminiscent of "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle," the story's tension builds relentlessly even though the author has telegraphed the morbid ending at the beginning of the book. Louise's descent into mental illness, even madness, grabs us by the throat. The 2016 winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt award in France, this unsettling tale has been translated into English by Sam Taylor, for an eager North American audience. Fans of psychological thrillers will find it a perfect start to their 2018 reading list.
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
Slimani writes devastatingly perceptive character studies. Dropping their children at day care, the mothers are “rushed and sad,” the children “little tyrants.” She also raises painful questions.... One thing is clear: Loneliness can drive you crazy, and extreme loneliness can make you homicidal.
—New York Times
Despite its packaging, “The Perfect Nanny” is less a thriller than a sociological study, and it doesn't shock so much as usefully destabilize current bourgeois customs of parenthood. Brilliantly observed phenomena capture the times.... Ms. Slimani is brilliantly insightful about the peculiar station nannies assume within the households of working families, at once intimate and subservient.
—Wall Street Journal
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.... The voice of Slimani's omniscient third-person narrator is consistently chill and precise; her plot spares neither her characters' fates nor her readers' sensibilities.
—Washington Post
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