*One of the 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR of The New York Times Book Review*
“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, by the author of Adèle and Sex and Lies
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This gripping suspense novel is loosely based on the real-life case of Yoselyn Ortega, a Manhattan nanny charged with killing two young children under her care. Leïla Slimani won France’s most prestigious literary prize for this chilling story, which explores parenting and class privilege via the interactions of a professional Parisian couple and their seemingly flawless employee: Louise, an obsessive woman with a troubled history. Slimani’s novel is seriously creepy and very well written.
Slimani received France's Goncourt Prize for this unsettling tale of a nanny who insinuates herself into every aspect of her employers' lives, with tragic results. When Parisian housewife Myriam Mass accepts a job as a lawyer, she and her husband, Paul, hire Louise, an unassuming, doll-like woman in her 40s, to watch their two children. Initially enamored of Louise's quiet competence, delicious cooking, and constant availability, Myriam and Paul eventually find her dominating their lives in unwelcome ways. As they steel themselves for a confrontation, Louise preempts them in a shocking act of violence. Slimani expertly probes Myriam's guilt at leaving her children with a stranger and the secret economy of nannies in Paris's tony professional districts. Taylor's spare, understated translation underscores the quiet desperation, economic struggles, and crushing loneliness that build to Louise's final act. Those seeking a thought-provoking character study will appreciate this gripping anatomy of a crime.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Perfect Nanny
Great read but ending sucked, it’s like all that for nothing in the end
This book was very scattered. It was hard to make out timing of events, visualize the characters, and hard to follow who was speaking and at what point in time they were in. I felt it had a lot of added things that in the end had no point to the story at all and just left me with more questions. The ending was very disappointing and unsettling but not in a cliff hanger way but just a missed opportunity for a better ending.
-ps I can’t spell or right well so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
The Perfect Nanny
Having been a NY professional who hired a nanny to care for our newborn through the age of 2, I appreciated everything about this novel. The author presents the social issues judiciously, which may explain the low star reviews. The Perfect Nanny isn’t the salacious read most expect from this genre imo. It isn’t a good fit for someone looking for a graphic true crime, villain gets what she deserves type of story. I found it a compelling read and had no issues with the ending. The social issues that led to the tragedy were perfectly executed. That’s the story.