The Perfect Nanny

The Perfect Nanny

A Novel

Book - 2018
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17
"When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family's chic apartment in Paris's upscale tenth arrondissement, 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, and motherhood--and the American debut of an immensely talented writer"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Penguin Books, [2018]
ISBN: 9780143132172
Branch Call Number: FICTION SLIMANI
Characteristics: 228 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Taylor, Sam 1970-- Translator

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k
kalileah
Jul 14, 2018

I just finished this book and like others, I was waiting for the twist. It never came. Nothing at all like gone girl. Being translated from french to English left the writing abit choppy. I wouldn't recommend this book

b
becker
Jul 10, 2018

I expect that many people picked this up and put it down again after reading the first few paragraphs. The author drops us directly into an unbearable tragedy that will be an instant turnoff for many. There will be others that go into this book thinking they have chosen a thriller and will be very disappointed with it. For me, this book was more of a character study. A very slow revealing of a person's mind. It is about motherhood and social class and loneliness. The author gives us enough information about the nanny for us to realize that she is a stressed and desperate person but never fills out her back story fully. We are left to imagine many of her feelings and thoughts on our own. There are many moments in the book where the nanny will display a peculiar behaviour or there will be an awkward moment in a scene which creates tension as the reader anticipates the tragedy that they know is coming. The story can leave you a bit frustrated and hungry for details. Even the ending just comes to a stop. But it is all part of a skillfully constructed story line and an important part of the reading experience. It left me sober and thoughtful and stayed with me for the rest of the day.

p
photogrrlkp
Jun 26, 2018

This is NOT, as one of the review blurbs claims, the French "Gone Girl"- ignore that claim going in and you'll have a better chance at liking it. The only similarity is that there's a female villain. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been so overly hyped. The first chapter gives away what happens, and you never really learn why, and the pace is somewhat slow, nothing really grabs you, and I didn't especially like or relate to any of the characters - it took me a while to finish it, considering it's a pretty short book. I wouldn't really recommend it.

m
Moon2125
Jun 21, 2018

I had read glowing reviews of this book, and I was severely disappointed. I didn't like the writing and the book didn't hold my interest.

u
uncommonreader
Jun 04, 2018

Prix Goncourt. This novel could be read in different ways. On one hand, it is a guilt trip for mothers who leave their children with nannies. On the other hand, it describes middle-class exploitation of working class nannies. In either case, the power relationship leads to disaster (as related on the first page).

TashD Jun 03, 2018

It was hard to read the start of this book but as the story starts at the end you get to learn about the nanny's past. I like dark, psychological thrillers and found the story to be unique as it is such a sensitive subject to write about. I wasn't so sure about the writing but put a lot of it down to translation!

h
hikatie
May 30, 2018

This was *almost* a read-in-one-sitting book, but I finally had to get some sleep about 30 pages from the end. Structurally I think it's fantastic - it set up and maintained tension I was hungry to read through from the beginning - but by the end I had some complaints about characterizations and details that I felt could have filled in a bit more (I'm sort of baffled by Louise's finances, for one). And while I'm not in a position to judge since I don't speak or read French, I suspect the translation might have been a little awkward and rushed. In spite of my complaints, though, it was still essentially a book I read all at once, hungrily and happily.

k
kennethek
May 19, 2018

Like one reader said "ending has no twist". Well the beginning has no twist either. Why start the book that way? The style/ambiance is very much like Modiano (recent Nobel). There really is a lot going on beneath the waters but the story is basically dull and very unpleasant. Worth a few hours' investment? Toss up.

m
mclarjh
May 18, 2018

Good writing, if a little light.

c
Cynthia488
May 07, 2018

Stopped reading about 30 pages in. And not because of the dark subject matter, because of the style of writing. This is a perfect example of an author that breaks the cardinal rule, "Show, don't tell." I don't want to be told how the main characters feel, I want to see it in action. Show the mother stealing the pair of socks, being surprised to find them after leaving the store. Don't tell me after the fact that she was surprised to find she had stolen them. The 30 pages or so that I got through is riddled with similar examples.

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