The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani

The Perfect Nanny

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...

Details The Perfect Nanny

TitleThe Perfect Nanny
Release DateJan 9th, 2018
PublisherPenguin Books
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery, Cultural, France, Contemporary, Mystery Thriller

Reviews The Perfect Nanny

  • Emily May
    Where do these stories come from? They emanate from Louise, in a continual flood, without her even thinking about it, without her making the slightest effort of memory or imagination. But in what black lake, in what deep forest has she found these cruel tales where the heroes die at the end, after first saving the world? I saw The Perfect Nanny on the Millions Most Anticipated list. It's a short book, and my library had it available to read immed...
  • Roxane
    This is one of this intensely interior novels that are claustrophobic and incredibly engaging and disturbing. I was very aware that I was reading a translation and I have no doubt that in French, this novel is a show stopper. The translation is good but clunky at times. I suppose that is the nature of most translation. As a portrait of a nanny who ends up murdering her charges (not a spoiler), this novel does a good job of creating ambiguity and ...
  • j e w e l s
    FIVE STARSI still have chills days after finishing THE PERFECT NANNY. Ive skipped over this novel many times thinking it would be the old hand that rocks the cradle plot. I could not have been more wrong. This unusual book got under my skin in the quietest, creepiest way possible and it deserves nothing less than 5 stars. The story opens with a brief graphic scene of violence depicting the death of two young children at the hands of their nanny. ...
  • elena
    She drinks and the discomfort of living, the shyness of breathing, all this anguish dissolves in the liquid sips. This book is quite creepy and slightly gross. That wasnt what bothered me though. Instead, it was just that it was such a boring book that I kept wondering how it became a national bestseller.Myriam is a Moroccan-French mother who has left her career of being a lawyer because of the work her two children have put her on. Her husband,...
  • Ammar
    DNF @35% I tried my best to get into this novel, but couldnt.The novel opens with a beautiful written crime scene, its shocking but written well. Then it started downhill for me.. I couldnt feel anything for Myriam, Paul, Louise, Pascale, or Milla or Adam It felt dry, perhaps due to it being a translated work that could maybe is brilliant in French , but didnt read well in English. DNF @35% I tried my best to get into this novel, but couldn’...
  • Paul Bryant
    The author says she wanted to write about nannies. You know, the uneasy ambiguity, how theyre an intimate part of your family but theyre an employee, how theyre poor (mostly black, mostly immigrant) and they live in the middle of wealth during working hours, returning each day to the other side of the tracks; how theyre everything and they have your total trust (they look after your children more than you do) and nothing (they can be got rid of j...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    4 slower-building, but gripping, stars to The Perfect Nanny! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐The Perfect Nanny opened with the what. There was a horrific scene to behold in this familys home. For the entire book, I was on the edge of my seat wondering the why with tons of ambiguity and build-up at a slower-moving pace. Louise seems to be epitome of the perfect nanny, but people arent always who and what they appear to be. The side messages on class, privilege, an...
  • Bkwmlee
    3.5 starsFor me, this book was originally a solid 4 stars that is, up until the ending (which Ill get back to later). The opening scene was quite explosive and emotional, hooking me from the start in wanting to find out exactly what happened, why things turned out the way they did, how such a horrific tragedy occurred. We are taken back in time to the very beginning where we are introduced to the Masse family parents Myriam and Paul who have tw...
  • Jaidee
    5 "the forgotten, the forlorn, the enraged, the desperate" stars !!! 7th Favorite Read of 2019 Award Addendum: I forgot to mention in my original review that I was compelled to read this because GR friend Roger B. wrote a glowing review of the novel read in French. Thanks so much Roger :) Louise is a middle aged nanny who has disintegrated many times in her life. She is poor, she is immature, she is immaculate and she is severely damaged. She lov...
  • Jim Fonseca
    Of course there is no such thing as a perfect nanny. And even though the ending of the book is given away on the very first page, Im going to hide it in a spoiler. (view spoiler)[ The opening page is the police scene the Nanny has stabbed both children to death. (hide spoiler)]The story is as much about imperfect employers as it is about perfect nannies. Let me rephrase that terrible employers. Both the young man and young woman who hire the Na...
  • JanB
    The story opens with the horrific description of the killing of two children by their nanny. Then the novel travels back in time to the events that led up to that day. We know what happens but what we don't know is the why. There are no easy answers, and this book doesn't offer them. It was inspired by the true case of the nanny who killed two children in NYC in 2012, and some aspects of the crime are eerily similar. Not knowing the why makes it...
  • Elyse Walters
    I was curious about this book....winner of the Goncourt Prize since last year. But not enough to pay for it. I waited - patiently- for my library-ebook turn.Long waitlist. I actually like the book cover. Its eye-catching. I use to wear Peter Pan collars - AS A CHILD....But if a nanny showed up for an interview dressed in one to watch my eyebrows would raise. What I didnt know is that this story was based on a true story. This is new in...
  • Holly B
    Buddy read with Laurie from Cozynookbks. You will learn how the story ends on the first page of the novel. And my stomach was in knots as I read it.Told in third person from different view points, we learn how the unspeakable ending unfolded. So we are basically going back and learning just what transpired before the tragedy. The author writes in a poetic way using descriptions that I could visualize, smell and emotionally react too. It was creep...
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    Myriam gave up her career when she had her two children with her husband, Paul. Soon she found herself resenting her children and her husband and needed more from her life. Given the opportunity to go back to law, she took it. With this decision, came the choice to hire a nanny to take care of the children. Enter Louise, who seems perfect! The children love her and as time goes by, they want for nothing. Meals are made, the living space is cleane...
  • Shirley Revill
    OMG. The story begins with the most horrific start to a story that I have ever read. One child is dead and another child is fighting for her life. As the story progresses we start to try to understand what happened in the lives of all who are involved to get to this point. Who really knows just when the cracks start to appear. When does the madness start and what is the point that Louise goes over the edge.When Myriam decides to return to work sh...
  • Dem
    A stunning, shocking and harrowing read, a terrific character study and an extremely well written psychological thriller that is disburbing but very readable. I very nearly passed up on this book because of its cover and title and am so glad I gave it a chance as this turned out to be exactly the type of psychological thriller that I love to read. When Miriam decides to return to work her husband interviews a nanny for their young children. They...
  • Felicia
    After reviewing the latest novel by Leila Slimani titled Adèle back in September, I immediately went on the search for her English debut, The Perfect Nanny. I have read both books in one sitting NEVER EVER JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S TITLE!!I'm sure most readers would hesitate in picking up this book thinking they are going to find the tired story of the crazy nanny that inevitably gets jealous and tries to take over the life of her employer. But I kne...
  • Lisa
    This novel suffers a bit from reverse IanMcEwanism. While he more often than not builds an interesting storyline and trashes the plot on the last pages, this story is completely destroyed in the first chapter, and then the reader is left with a narrative that could have been amazing, had it not been used to such a drastic conclusion turned prelude.The issues: racism, social justice, vulnerability, loneliness, parenthood in modern Paris society, d...
  • Matt
    The Perfect Nanny throws out conventions in the psychological suspense genre. Leila Slimani plays all of her cards in the very first line of the novel: The baby is dead. Slimani chooses to have the reader focus on the how and why rather than what happened or who did it. Knowing the outcome of the story actually made the book that much more interesting reading it. The book starts with the graphic description of a child being murdered by the family...
  • Erin
    Creepy. Chilling. Disturbing. A contemporary novel set in France, Paul and Myriam believe they have found the perfect person to take care of their young children, Mila and Adam. As we see in the beginning of the story, things end tragically, but the author takes readers on a journey to the "before". As the obsession builds, snippets from passersbys try to fill in the gaps of what led to the fateful events. Although a difficult read, I was unabl...
  • Emily B
    The perfect nanny is a very good character study that is wonderfully written however it is not a thriller as described on the front cover. It was easy to read and flowed well. I probably could have read it all in one go if given the time to do so. Most of the way through I thought it was going to be a 5 star read. However the ending was slightly disappointing as it did not explain anything. I think this was deliberate however this left me feeling...
  • Book of Secrets°ღ
    3.5 Stars → Ugh, from the very beginning, this book was chilling. Unsettling. It's not a typical thriller, more character-driven, maybe a character study of sorts. None of the characters were likable, but they were fascinating. A young Parisian couple, Myriam and Paul, hire Louise as a nanny for their two small children. With a good reference from her previous employer, and being somewhat desperate to find childcare, they quickly welcome Louise...
  • leslie hamod
    Wonderful! A fabulous read! Myriam is a lawyer. Or she was a lawyer..She decides to go back to work. This means the search for child care must begin.In comes Louise. She is perfect in every way. She tends the children and cared for the home. Perfectly. She makes herself indispensable.But jealosy, resentment and anger arise. What is Louise's motive. What is she after!A HIGHLY recommended psychological thriller! This is a MUST READ!
  • Gabby
    First book of 2019 is finished, and unfortunately it was a total snooze fest. This is a "thriller" that starts off with an intense scene where you discover that the nanny has killed the two kids she is watching, and then the rest of the book is showing all the lead up to that... but my god this book is so freaking boring. If it wasn't for that promising first chapter I would have probably DNF'ed this and I almost wish I did because it never went ...
  • Meike
    No wonder Slimani hit a nerve and won the Prix Goncourt with this book: She touches on some very inconvenient truths and common societal problems that seem extremely hard to resolve. "Lullaby" talks about gender roles, modern servants, the class system, marital rivalry, and loneliness (and not in the cutesie Eleanor Oliphant kind-of-way) in modern France. It does not come as a surprise that French President Emmanuel Macron chose Slimani as his pe...
  • Helene Jeppesen
    3.5 stars. This book starts out with a bang. The very first chapter tells us of two children who have been murdered in their nursery, as well as their nurse who is the main suspect and who's found in a coma. The rest of a book is a flashback on what led up to this horrific event. We get into depth with the parent role and how hard it can be to juggle to children and remain insane. We also get to know the children better as well as Louise, the nan...
  • Roger Brunyate
    The NannyBirdlike, blonde Louise, hardly bigger than a girl herself, is a magician with children. At her interview with the busy Massé parents in their Paris apartment, she gently takes the squalling baby Adam from his father's arms, calming him instantly, and entices the toddler Mila out of hiding by pretending that she is a princess who has disappeared. Myriam, the children's mother, returns from her first day back at work as an advocate to fi...
  • Issicratea
    Flavour-of-the-month novels, especially thrillerish ones, are often a fast food experience for me; I read them to satisfy a passing craving, but I lose interest after the first couple of bites. I felt that about the best-selling, much-touted Lullaby. Its a Gone Girl-type domestic psychokiller novel, but I didnt actually think it was as good as Gone Girl, Prix Goncourt or no Prix Goncourt. Leïla Slimanis prose may sing in French, but its only ser...
  • Emer (A Little Haze)
    I only recently heard of Leïla Slimani when French president Emmanuel Macron gave her the position of Francophone affairs minister. The Morocco-born author won the prestigious Prix Goncourt literary award for her second novel, Chanson douce, which has just now been translated into English and given the title Lullaby. It is known as The Perfect Nanny in the USA.So I had to read this novel for myself and find out if I could believe the hype.... An...
  • Eric Anderson
    Basing a psychological thriller around a nanny who murders the children she cares for makes for a terrifyingly effective sensational story, but where Lullaby by Leila Slimani really excels is in its sophisticated take on classism, privilege and isolation in modern-day Paris. The novel opens with the discovery of young children Adam and Mila who have been slain by their nanny Louise. How Louise came to become an integral part of this familys life ...