The Perfect Nanny

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you for the advanced copy.  Unfortunately. I could not make myself finish this book.  I've been trying to read for weeks and don't seem to want to pick it back up.  Perhaps I'll have another go at it in the future.
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This read was a huge struggle for me to finish. It took me two months to get through. I struggled to see the mystery, thrill, suspense, or enjoyment of this novel. Perhaps it was a language barrier or a translation issue, I honestly am not sure. I read primarily authors who are American or British/English.

I did not find it was not well written, there were times where I had no idea what was supposed to be happening or why something was happening (or why it would be considered suspenseful/thrilling). I honestly was thinking it was about to start to get good, then turned the page to the end of the book. To be honest, this book was just plain boring to me.

Cover art (design and how appropriate it is for the book): I like the cover art, it drew me in
Length (too short, too long, just right): Too long, this book drags on and on
Twist factor: There was no twist as far as I could tell

1 star

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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That is was a fast read is the only good part. You know from the 1st page who and the last page helps little with the why.
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Rounding up to 5 stars, simply because I haven't read a book like this in a long time. 

Deeply unsettling, visceral, and frightening, "The Perfect Nanny" is a great suspense-thriller. Some passages might be lost in translation, but the work certainly did not suffer from it. 

[Slimani's choices to not reveal too much about Louise and what happened the day she murdered the Masse children are particularly effective. I really liked that we never fully understood Louise's backstory. We learned just enough to see why she was damaged, but there was never a crashing moment of realization that often appears in thrillers with a Big Bad. The slow inclusion of a previously-unseen police detective as she tries to recreate the crime could have been irritating and off-topic, but instead added to the general suspense and desire for answers.
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I wanted to like this book more than I did. The marketing campaign around this English translation was great as I heard buzz from the UK months before the actual release date, but unfortunately it just didn't live up to the hype. I know many readers who wouldn't be able to pick this up based on the premise alone, but even for those who are able to get over the hurdle of reading about child murder, I just didn't think there was anything groundbreaking or spectacular about this title.
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This little, creepy, ugly story got under my skin. It's slow burning with so much tension burning underneath I couldn't look away. The ending is still haunting me. Why?
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Lullaby kicks off with the tragic murder of Adam and Mila, the children of French-Moroccan couple Myriam and Paul. However, in a twist from your average murder novel, we find out who is behind the killing of two young children right from the off in Lullaby. Clearly, the nanny did it...
We are then transported back in time to where the story began - with lawyer Myriam longing to go back to work after having two children within a short space of one another.
When the couple hire Louise as their nanny their problems look to be solved. Louise is perfect...And not just any old perfect...We're talking Mary Poppins perfect. She cooks, she cleans, she works extra hours - Paul and Myriam can't believe their luck. She comes with excellent references, including a couple who 'considered having another child, just so they could keep her'. Louise truly is Myriam's savior...But it soon becomes apparent, to the reader before Paul and Myriam, that Louise isn't all that she first appears. There's something very odd about this woman, and it's not long before strange things start to happen in the household and fear starts to set in.

Lullaby is one of those novels that has been on my radar for some time. I kept hearing pretty amazing things about this book (it's even been billed as the next Gone Girl which is a MASSIVE claim) therefore I couldn't wait to delve into Leila Slimani's creepy and unsettling debut.
Lullaby is based on such an interesting concept, examining the feelings that Myriam experienced in her desperation to return to work after having two children. But how scary must it be to technically be handing over your children to a virtual stranger?
This novel asks is we can ever completely trust someone 100 percent. To all intents and purposes, Louise is perfect. Yes, she starts to reveal herself to the reader as being a bit of a lonely character, but the more we discover about her, the more unsettled you start to feel.
Louise was a fascinating character. I never really worked her out, yet she intrigued me. She was frighteningly creepy and Leila did such a wonderful job at building up her profile - so that even her choice of outfit became unsettling (I know that sounds crazy but I was having nightmares about the blue dress with the peter pan collar...)
The format of the story is an unusual one insofar as the murder takes place at the start of the novel and we know who has done it. However, I will admit that I was hoping I had missed something, that more secrets would begin to unfold making the both the start and the finish not quite as clear cut as I was hoping but this didn't really turn out to be the case. I still felt suspense as I was reading but it didn't really reach the crescendo that I was hoping for. Rather than a 'whodunit' Lullaby examines the reasons as to why the murder took place, a 'whydunit' if you will. I mistakenly went into this novel thinking it was a thriller, but looking back I'm not sure you could class it as that. Yes, there is tension, yes there is murder, but there is also an in depth examination of parenting, domesticity, and the importance of trust.

The writing was brilliant, especially considering this was a translation. Leila Slimani creates tension and sets the scene perfectly with her harrowing and unforgettable style. She has done a great job with the characters, all of whom were complex but none of whom were likable. There were times when I found it difficult to believe that Paul and Myriam could continue to let Louise look after their children when she started behaving extremely oddly towards the end (the chicken carcass thing really freaked me out.) After all, you are entrusting your most precious possession to a virtual stranger. If they started behaving oddly wouldn’t you snatch back your children immediately? Or is that me being overprotective?!

Not always easy reading, Lullaby is still a short, sharp, snappy compulsive read & I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
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The experience of reading The Perfect Nanny was like watching a car wreck in slow motion: you knew what was coming, you knew it would be horrific, but you're powerless to look away. The first chapter takes ahold of you, and you have to keep reading to know how things ended up there! I would've given the book four stars except the ending doesn't quite live up to the rest of the story; it ends so abruptly I kept trying to flip the pages on my copy convinced that there had to be more.

I received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley
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It was alright.  I like the twisted idea and the character of the nanny, but it moved so slowly for being such a thriller of a plot.
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This had a bloody start that drew me in right away. I think most women can empathize with Myriam and the struggles of wanting to be with your children and wanting a life of your own as well. I think most parents have also experienced the stress
Of trusting a child to a stranger. A quick paced read. Not sure how I feel about the ending, but I generally enjoyed the book.
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With a couple creepy parts and eerie moments, this book focuses more on a character study than on being a thriller. I can understand why one would like it, but I can’t say I did. For me, there was a lot of day-to-day details with very little build-up to basically nothing at the end.

It’s decent if you want to understand why the nanny becomes so horrible but no good if you want an intense story. At least it’s a short book.
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Myriam has decided it's time to go back to work after having two children.  She dedicated some years to her children, but she really wants to go back to doing what she loves.  Not that she doesn't love her children, it's just that she doesn't want her life to revolve around them.  However, she doesn't want to be like all the other families in the neighborhood who hire illegals to take care of their children.  So when she find Louise, who has glowing reviews and works so well with her children, she considers it a miracle.  At first, it's so nice to come home to dinner, her children taken care of, and the house spotless.  However, as time goes on Louise seems to insert herself into their lives more and more.  Louise's own daughter has left her, and she is strapped with huge bills her husband left when he died.  She can't lose this job, she wants so desperately to make sure Myriam and Paul are indebted to her that they will never want her to leave.  Slowly this need to stay with this family creeps across a line into obsession, an obsession that will turn deadly.
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The plot of this book is every parent's worst nightmare!  When Myriam, a professional, decides with her husband, to return to work after taking time off for her two beautiful, young children, they discover the perfect caretaker, Louise.  
 As the title of the book states, she is the "perfect nanny." She is loving, creative and eager to help in every way.  As the story progresses, you are able to see the slow unraveling of Louise's persona which rapidly picks up until the inevitable ultimate horror occurs.  
Slimani has the "perfect" horror story which she delivers in a way that will make it difficult for the reader to get it out of their mind.
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I knew it would be disturbing but it disturbed me more than I anticipated.  Overall just sad but not a very exciting story. I was hoping for more.
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I enjoyed this title about as much as I expected to. I can see why it's as popular as it is though it's not really anything extraordinary or special. Perhaps the best part - for me - was the literal last chapter. There's definitely an audience for this book: the Gone Girl fans, those curious about the lives of the Park Avenue mommies vs those of their hired help domestics. It felt a little like a Law & Order episode featuring a crime that never really gets "solved."
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This book surpassed expectation. So much underlying tension, and intensity. Quick read.
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But...wait…   The Perfect Nanny is like a jigsaw puzzle with some pieces missing — you get the picture but it’s un-satisfyingly incomplete.  Well written, though, with a unique take on a common theme.
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The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani is a heart-breaker of a tale.  You know from the very first sentence of the book that this story is not going to end well but the need to keep reading is real.  Myriam and her husband believe that they have found the perfect nanny in Louise.  She not only watches the children she also cooks, cleans, and makes everyone's lives much easier.  However, Louise is in a downward spiral that is going to tear apart Myriam's family.  Read and enjoy!
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crookedroadBoth the title and basic plot of this novel scream '90s Lifetime Movie.' They probably were a 90s Lifetime movie. Give it a chance, anyway. Set in Paris, this novel moves beyond generic parental anxiety into class, culture and economic injustice. It’s Lifetime's simplistic nanny formula rendered in 3-D.
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Named One of 2018’s Most Anticipated Books by NPR’s Weekend Edition, Real Simple, The Millions, The Guardian, Bustle, and Book Riot 

The #1 international bestseller and winner of France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt 

When I saw the teasers for this book, I just had to read it. I'm still not entirely sure what my thoughts are regarding the book...but for the pure fact that I am still thinking about it and I had to stay up late because I couldn't stand the thought of putting it down and not knowing how it ended, makes it 4 stars for me.

This is a very deep and disturbing book to me, primarily because all of the thoughts and actions by both the parents and the nanny rang to be more true and realistic than to not...which is why thrillers don't usually bother me. If you read about some deranged's easy to separate from your life...but this one strikes a little too close to home for a lot of men and women. A man that isn't sure how he likes the changes to his life when the kids arrive, a woman who loves her children and wants to be a mom but isn't quite ready for the life-changing effect to who she is as a person...both the way she perceives herself and how she is perceived by others. Not all women are ready to give up on a career...and that's not selfish. No one wants to see talent laid to waste when men don't have to give up their dreams. That is still strongly an issue for women, and the lack of support (woman to woman, mom to mom) is astounding to me. Wanting to have success outside of your children is a fairly natural desire, I would think. Though I don't have children, these were some of thoughts I had when considering it. 

As for the nanny, this is a person who has had it rough from the get go...poor, every day is a challenge and a struggle in a way that most of society will never fully understand...constantly being in servitude to others...and who knows what type of mental issues were there and flowered under a special set of circumstances. 

This is a twisty and sad novel, but I thought it was well-written, clipped along at a fantastic pace, and throughout the book...I don't think I was ever fully on anyone's side...except for maybe the baby.

I received a copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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