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The next Lullaby: a dark and thought-provoking novel about a young woman who poisons her baby, her husband and herself

‘You can’t stop reading, even as you want to look away’ New York Times

Life is going well for Marie. She and her husband, Laurent, live a comfortable life in a large apartment in the eleventh arrondissement in Paris. Laurent has a good job at a big law firm and Marie enjoys her work at a bank, where she feels appreciated by her clients and colleagues.

Comfortable and secure, and ready for family life, the couple begin to try for a baby. But not long afterwards Marie experiences a shocking encounter which threatens to derail their plans completely, and her world slowly starts to fall apart.

Less than two years later, the family’s apartment is cordoned off by police tape as forensic officers examine a horrific scene in the family apartment. Three bodies around a dining table. Marie, Laurent and their little toddler, Thomas, in his high chair. All three of them have been poisoned by Marie.

This Little Family is a dark and furiously compelling novel about women, power and control, from a bright young star in French literature.


‘You can’t stop reading, even as you want to look away’ New York Times

'A dark voyage into trauma experienced through the jagged prism of a brutalised woman and that of a brilliant author. Utterly unforgettable’ Rachel Edwards, author of Darling

‘Close this book and start doing something else? Impossible. This book quite simply knocked us out’ Le Parisien

‘Stunning … Bayard’s chronicle of Marie’s breakdown escalates with a defiant, feral energy that has echoes of Elena Ferrante’s Days of Abandonment. Marie’s indelible voice makes this a powerful study of sexual violence and its aftermath’ Publishers Weekly

‘As effective as it is disturbing … a staggering, unflinching novel’ Culturebox

‘Remarkable … Bayard’s writing is sharp, cold, precise and sends chills down your spine. You read this novel with bated breath’ La Presse

About the author

Inès Bayard was born in Toulouse, France, in 1991. She lived and studied in Paris for several years before relocating in 2017 to Berlin, where she is currently based. This Little Family is her first novel.

Belletristik und Literatur
28. April
Fourth Estate

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