"Fascinating . . . Adèle has glanced at the covenant of modern womanhood--the idea that you can have it all or should at least die trying--and detonated it." --The New York Times Book Review
"[A] fierce, uncanny thunderbolt of a book." --Entertainment Weekly
From the bestselling author of The Perfect Nanny--one of the 10 Best Books of the Year of The New York Times Book Review--as well as Sex and Lies and In the Country of Others, her prizewinning novel about a sex-addicted woman in Paris
She wants only one thing: to be wanted.
Adèle appears to have the perfect life: She is a successful journalist in Paris who lives in a beautiful apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son. But underneath the surface, she is bored--and consumed by an insatiable need for sex.
Driven less by pleasure than compulsion, Adèle organizes her day around her extramarital affairs, arriving late to work and lying to her husband about where she's been, until she becomes ensnared in a trap of her own making. Suspenseful, erotic, and electrically charged, Adèle is a captivating exploration of addiction, sexuality, and one woman's quest to feel alive.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
French novelist Leïla Slimani is clearly drawn to the dark side. Her global bestseller The Perfect Nanny was inspired by the true story of a Manhattan nanny who murdered her young charges, and Adèle follows the downward spiral of a Parisian journalist derailed by her sordid and compulsive liaisons with random men. Adèle’s story isn’t pretty, but it makes for page-turning reading. Slimani’s slim novel paints an unusual portrait of female desire and slices through sanctified ideas of happy marriages and the idyll of motherhood.
Slimani's fascinating follow-up to The Perfect Nanny chronicles the extramarital trysts of 35-year-old Ad le Robinson. Ad le's oblivious husband, Richard, often works long hours as a surgeon, though he's growing tired of his job at the hospital in Paris. He often floats the idea of moving with Ad le and their three-year-old son, Lucien, to the deserted countryside. This idea enrages Ad le, who spends her waking hours sating her sexual needs (her sexual life composes most of the story). Her job as a journalist proves handy, since she can come and go as she pleases. She often asks her best friend, Lauren, to cover for her when she goes out at night. Ad le has seduced everyone from her boss, Cyril, to Lauren's lover to Richard's unattractive colleague, Xavier. She keeps a second cell phone that's crammed with the numbers of men she's willing to bed again. In the meantime, she does the bare minimum at work and will hand off her son at a moment's notice. The story takes a turn when it focuses on Richard and how he deals with his wife once he finds out about her sex life. Though some readers might feel the novel waits too long to explore why its protagonist feels compelled to behave the way she does, this is nevertheless a skillful character study. Slimani's ending is the perfect conclusion to this memorable snapshot of sex addiction.