The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds.
When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect caretaker for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family's chic apartment in Paris's upscale t
A lot has been made of this book being about classism and the employer's being entitled and taking advantage of their nanny, but don't see that. The Massies were hardly living a glittering life. They both worked, their apartment was so small they partitioned their bedroom out of their living room and it was described as stifling. They both worked to exhaustion, they didn't seem to splurge much. They took one vacation a year, hardly seemed to live a high life and supported five lives on their two salaries, counting the nanny. The one indulgence mentioned is Paul buying, with some embarrassment, a second hand Rolex at a "very good price". Yet I hear this book described as a study in classism and racism, neither making any sense.
The nanny is obviously mentally challenged, she seems overwhelmed by math (according to her daughter, whose fate is also ambiguous). But the whole issue of finance is so unexplained that I wonder if the nanny simply didn't understand what she had. And so mentally challenged she didn't know how to ask for help. I don't see the Massies as being unkind or uncaring - they offered help, and when she didn't respond, they respected her -- as an adult - she was older than them - to handle her own problems. Are they to blame for not treating her as a child and forcing themselves into her life? I don't think they realized how challenged she was - frankly, as a reader I only came to the conclusion late that she was deficient in more than one respect. I came to suspect that she could do house work and play with kids but more than that was beyond her. Perhaps that's why she kept such detailed notes in her notebook.
The why of what happened is still a mystery to me. While the book was engaging I still don't like books that have such gaps in such a significant motivation. (less)
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?
I saw The Perfect Nanny on the Millions Most Anticipated list. It's a short book, and my library had it available to read immediately, so I thought: why not? I had very few exp ...more
As a portrait of a nanny who ends up murdering her charges (not a spoiler), this novel does a good job of creating ambiguity and never really showing a clear cut why of the crime. ...more
I still have chills days after finishing THE PERFECT NANNY. I’ve skipped over this novel many times thinking it would be the old “hand that rocks the cradle” plot. I could not have been more wrong. This unusual book got under my skin in the quietest, creepiest way possible and it deserves nothing less than 5 stars.
The story opens with a brief graphic scene of violence depicting the death of two young children at the hands of their nanny. I almost put down the book, I was afraid it wou ...more
She drinks and the discomfort of living, the shyness of breathing, all this anguish dissolves in the liquid sips.
This book is quite creepy and slightly gross. That wasn’t what bothered me though. Instead, it was just that it was such a boring book that I kept wondering how it became a national bestseller.
Myriam is a Moroccan-French mother who has left her career of being a lawyer because of the work her two children have put her on. Her husband, Paul, is working day and night trying to get t ...more
The Perfect Nanny opened with the what. There was a horrific scene to behold in this family’s home. For the entire book, I was on the edge of my seat wondering the why with tons of ambiguity and build-up at a slower-moving pace. Louise seems to be epitome of the perfect nanny, but people aren’t always who and what they appear to be. The side messages on class, privilege, and child rearing in France were interesting.
This had all ...more
I tried my best to get into this novel, but couldn’t.
The novel opens with a beautiful written crime scene, it’s shocking but written well.
Then it started downhill for me.. I couldn’t feel anything for Myriam, Paul, Louise, Pascale, or Milla or Adam
It felt dry, perhaps due to it being a translated work that could maybe is brilliant in French , but didn’t read well in English.
In an interview with The Guardi ...more
The story is as much about imperfect employers as it is about perfect nannies. Let me rephrase that – terrible employers. Both the young man and young woman who hire the Nanny to look after their two pre-school children ...more
For me, this book was originally a solid 4 stars – that is, up until the ending (which I’ll get back to later). The opening scene was quite explosive and emotional, hooking me from the start in wanting to find out exactly what happened, why things turned out the way they did, how such a horrific tragedy occurred. We are taken back in time to the very beginning where we are introduced to the Masse family – parents Myriam and Paul who have two adorable kids, toddler Mila and baby Adam – a ...more
We know what happens but what we don't know is the why. There are no easy answers, and this book doesn't offer them. It was inspired by the true case of the nanny who killed two children in NYC in 2012, and some aspects of the crime are eerily similar. Not knowing the why makes it all the more horrific.
How can the perfect nanny, ...more
I waited - patiently- for my library-ebook turn.
I actually like the book cover. It’s eye-catching. I use to wear Peter Pan collars - AS A CHILD....
But if a nanny showed up for an interview dressed in one to watch my kids...my eyebrows would raise.
What I didn’t know — is that this story was based on a true story. This is new information to me....which makes this book all th ...more
You will learn how the story ends on the first page of the novel. And my stomach was in knots as I read it.
Told in third person from different view points, we learn how the unspeakable ending unfolded. So we are basically going back and learning just what transpired before the tragedy. The author writes in a poetic way using descriptions that I could visualize, smell and emotionally react too. It was creepy at times with a hint of the dread to come.
When Myriam decides to return to work she realises that she needs a nanny. She is a brilli ...more
I very nearly passed up on this book because of its cover and title and am so glad I gave it a chance as this turned out to be exactly the type of psychological thriller that I love to read.
When Miriam decides to return to work her husband interviews a nanny for their young children. They hire what they assume is the Nanny of their drea ...more
ومن أكثر الأخبار استفزازًا لي هي تلك التي تنقل جرائم العاملات المنزلية دون أن تنقل في المقابل الجرائم التي يرتكبها أصحاب المنازل ضد هؤلاء العاملات المنزليات.
أدرك بأن هناك نسبة من العاملات المنزليات ترتكب الجرائم دون أن يكون لمشغليهم سبب مباشر فيها، ولكنني أؤمن بأن الكثير من هذه الجرائم م ...more
A contemporary novel set in France, Paul and Myriam believe they have found the perfect person to take care of their young children, Mila and Adam. As we see in the beginning of the story, things end tragically, but the author takes readers on a journey to the "before". As the obsession builds, snippets from passersbys try to fill in the gaps of what led to the fateful events. Although a difficult read, I was unable to put it down and read it in one sitting.
While he more often than not builds an interesting storyline and trashes the plot on the last pages, this story is completely destroyed in the first chapter, and then the reader is left with a narrative that could have been amazing, had it not been used to such a drastic conclusion turned prelude.
The issues: racism, social justice, vulnerability, loneliness, parenthood in modern Paris society, difficulties to define boundaries between an employ ...more
The book starts with the graphic description of a child being murdered by the family’s nanny. In one of the most gruesome ...more
NEVER EVER JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S TITLE!!
I'm sure most readers would hesitate in picking up this book thinking they are going to find the tired story of the crazy nanny that inevitably gets jealous and tries to take over the life of her employer. But I knew this wouldn't be the case. Anybody that wrote the ...more
A young Parisian couple, Myriam and Paul, hire Louise as a nanny for their two small children. With a good reference from her previous employer, and being somewhat desperate to find childcare, they quickly welcome Louise into their lives. Oh, dear. Louise seems perfect on ...more
This book starts out with a bang. The very first chapter tells us of two children who have been murdered in their nursery, as well as their nurse who is the main suspect and who's found in a coma.
The rest of a book is a flashback on what led up to this horrific event. We get into depth with the parent role and how hard it can be to juggle to children and remain insane. We also get to know the children better as well as Louise, the nanny that the parents decide to hide.
Louise is basi ...more
Birdlike, blonde Louise, hardly bigger than a girl herself, is a magician with children. At her interview with the busy Massé parents in their Paris apartment, she gently takes the squalling baby Adam from his father's arms, calming him instantly, and entices the toddler Mila out of hiding by pretending that she is a princess who has disappeared. Myriam, the children's mother, returns from her first day back at work as an advocate to find that Louise has totally tidied the cramped apart ...more
So I had to read this novel for myself and find out if I could believe the hype.... And I'm pleased to say that this absolutely lives up ...more
L’histoire est celle de Pascal et Myriam, un couple de jeunes parisiens mariés avec deux enfants, Mia et Adam. Myriam avait fait des études de droit mais a fini par choisir de devenir femme ...more
“The baby is dead.”
I’m not exactly sure how I ended up with this book. I thought it must have been one of the suggestions from the library for the “Shelf of Suspects” challenge, but I just double-checked and it is not. Whatever way I ended up with it, I have to say that is one doozy of an opening line. I also have to say if you’re expecting a story like this . . . .
As I will freely admit I was, you’re not going to find it ...more
I felt that about the best-selling, much-touted Lullaby. It’s a Gone Girl-type domestic psychokiller novel, but I didn’t actually think it was as good as Gone Girl, Prix Goncourt or no Prix Goncourt. Leïla Slimani’s prose may sing in French, but it’s only serviceable in the English translation I read. T ...more
|Crime, Mysteries ...: The Perfect Nanny By Leila Slimani (Spoilers Permitted ) - February 2019||5||28||Feb 19, 2019 04:38PM|
|Crime, Mysteries ...: The Perfect Nanny By Leila Slimani (No Spoilers) - February 2019||6||27||Feb 19, 2019 04:37PM|
|Around the Year i...: The Perfect Nanny, by Leïla Slimani||2||14||Feb 17, 2019 05:05PM|
Slimani was born in Rabat, Morocco and studied later political science and media studies in Paris. After that she temporarily considered a career as an actress and began to work as a journalist for the magazine Jeune Afrique. In 2014 she published her first no ...more