The Resource The perfect nanny : a novel, Leila Slimani ; translated from the French by Sam Taylor

The perfect nanny : a novel, Leila Slimani ; translated from the French by Sam Taylor

Label
The perfect nanny : a novel
Title
The perfect nanny
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Leila Slimani ; translated from the French by Sam Taylor
Creator
Contributor
Author
Translator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
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
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2018
Review
  • Winner of France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt, Moroccan French author Slimani’s first book to be published in the U.S is a devastating, entrancing, literary psychological drama supported by absorbing character studies. Readers first step into a veritable crime scene: a baby and his toddler sister are dead, or soon to be, in an apartment in Paris’ tenth arrondissement. Their blissfully unaware mother, Myriam, meanwhile leaves work early, for a change, to surprise them. Then Slimani takes us back to the true beginning, to learn how happy Myriam was to escape the monotony of stay-at-home parenting after the birth of her second child and how impressed she and her husband, Paul, were by the nanny, Louise, who arrives highly recommended and whom the children immediately adore. Slimani’s skills are many, and her novel is fabulously translated by Taylor. Myriam and Paul’s constant nagging fears for their children are mundane, relatable, and gut-wrenching, given the end readers already know. As Louise’s dark past, emotional stuntedness, and heinous volatility emerge through cracks in her meticulous, porcelain exterior, readers won’t be able to look away. -- Bostrom, Annie (Reviewed 11/15/2017) (Booklist, vol 114, number 6, p23)
  • 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 Massé 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. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed 10/30/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 44, p)
  • This spare domestic thriller, the first book by a Moroccan-born woman to win the Prix Goncourt, starts out innocuously enough with French Moroccan lawyer Myriam struggling with two young children and ashamed of being a stay-at-home mom. When she decides to return to work, she and husband Paul interview a number of unsuitable candidates as nanny until coming upon the supercompetent, highly recommended Louise, whose delicate blonde looks belie her powerhouse capabilities. At first, Louise does her job with gusto, truly taking to the children; Myriam and Paul are relieved, though Myriam feels a bit edged out as mother. But as family and nanny become more entwined, with the family even inviting Louise on vacation, resentments grow on both sides. Louise becomes increasingly sullen, and a sudden act of violence shocks the narrative to life, even as we learn Louise's unfortunate backstory. VERDICT What initially feels like routine, unremarkable women's fiction morphs into a darkly propulsive nail-biter overlain with a vivid and piercing study of class tensions. For most readers. --Staff (Reviewed 12/01/2017) (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 20, p94)
  • This novel about a murderous nanny, Moroccan author Slimani's first to be published in the U.S., was awarded the 2016 Priz Goncourt.<br><br>Inspired by a 2012 case involving an Upper West Side nanny accused of killing two children in her charge, Slimani's novel moves the story to a similarly upscale locale, the tenth <i>arrondissement</i> of Paris. Since the book opens with the murders, leaving no doubt as to the culprit, the reader quickly gathers that the inquiry here is not who did it but why. A narrative that is chiefly flashback attempts to reverse-engineer an explanation. Louise, a middle-aged widow with an estranged adult daughter, is hired by a professional couple to look after their young children, Mila and Adam. The father, Paul, is a rising music producer, and the mother, Myriam, an attorney who's just taken a demanding position at a law firm. Myriam and Paul are pleasantly surprised by Louise's spectacular suitability for her job: not only does she quickly win over the children with her creative games and sense of play, but she goes above and beyond a nanny's role, becoming a housekeeper and general factotum. Never has the apartment looked so clean, never have meals been so appetizing and nourishing. Her employers take Louise along on their summer vacation to Greece, where she begins to see possibilities beyond her constricted life. However, the idyll is threatened on all sides when the pathology underlying Louise's perfectionism begins to emerge. The near-omniscient point of view darts in and out of the consciousness of many characters, some quite marginal. Consequently, the depiction of internal pressures building to a homicidal pitch is fragmentary at best. Ultimately, the evidence against Louise, whether of compulsive behavior, mental illness, bad luck, or just extreme loneliness, does not add up to a motive for infanticide. The prose, despite Taylor's often slapdash translation, manages to convey an atmosphere of creeping dread reminiscent of Modiano, but with more lurid details.<br><br>The why of this horrific crime remains unfathomable, rendering it all the more frightening.(Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2017)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10618538
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1981-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Slimani, Leà ̄la
Dewey number
843/.92
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorDate
1970-
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Taylor, Sam
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Nannies
  • Social classes
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Families
  • Murder
Label
The perfect nanny : a novel, Leila Slimani ; translated from the French by Sam Taylor
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
20 cm.
Extent
228 pages
Isbn
9780143132172
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
Specific material designation
regular print
Label
The perfect nanny : a novel, Leila Slimani ; translated from the French by Sam Taylor
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
20 cm.
Extent
228 pages
Isbn
9780143132172
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
Specific material designation
regular print

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