This is the book I didn't realize I needed until I found it. Based on a real nanny who was sentenced to life in prison shortly after The Perfect Nanny's publication, this novel is a fascinating profile of a disturbed woman and the couple who wove her inextricably into their life. The Perfect Nanny is menacing and propulsive, and its shock and tension don't rely on a single bit of trickery. Recommended By Emily F., Powells.com
This is both one of the most chilling books I've read and the saddest. It's frightening to watch this murderous Mary Poppins-like character become more and more unhinged, and heartbreaking to read about how and why she became this warped character. Slimani's prose and deft plotting is flawless. A very compelling read. Recommended By Sheila N., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
*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
"Deliciously twisty . . . An exquisitely crafted portrait of creeping madness and child murder . . . Slimani's exploration of race and class is razor-sharp and brilliantly provides the fuel for a hair-raising tale of domestic horror." Entertainment Weekly, "The Ten Best New Thrillers to Read This Spring"
"[An] unnerving cautionary tale . . . Pretty radical for a domestic thriller, but what's more remarkable about this unconventional novel is the author's intimate analysis of the special relationship between a mother and a nanny. . . . Slimani writes devastatingly perceptive character studies." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"Expertly probes [a mother's] guilt at leaving her children with a stranger . . . Those seeking a thought-provoking character study will appreciate this gripping anatomy of a crime." Publishers Weekly
"A darkly propulsive nail-biter overlain with a vivid and piercing study of class tensions." Library Journal, "Top Ten Titles for Winter Reading"
About the Author
Leila Slimani is the first Moroccan woman to win France's most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt, which she won for The Perfect Nanny. Her first novel, Adèle, won the La Mamounia Prize for the best book by a Moroccan author written in French. A journalist and frequent commentator on women's and human rights, Slimani is French president Emmanuel Macron's personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture and was ranked #2 on Vanity Fair France's annual list of The Fifty Most Influential French People in the World. Born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1981, she now lives in Paris with her French husband and their two young children.