The Perfect Nanny

The Perfect Nanny

by Leila Slimani


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The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

*National Bestseller*

You won't move until you reach the last page. —People

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143132172
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/09/2018
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 35,475
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)

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. Born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1981, she now lives in Paris with her French husband and their two young children.

Read an Excerpt

“My nanny is a miracle-worker.” That is what Myriam says when she describes Louise’s sudden entrance into their lives. She must have magical powers to have trans­formed this stifling, cramped apartment into a calm, light- filled place. Louise has pushed back the walls. She has made the cupboards deeper, the drawers wider. She has let the sun in. 

Excerpted from "The Perfect Nanny"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Leila Slimani.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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The Perfect Nanny: A Novel 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had I known more about the book I would not have wasted time reading it. It's about depravity, mental illness, and unhappiness with no redemption.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tedious at times. Needs more explanation as to what caused the nanny to snap.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant believe this book was even published! Seriously, i had high hopes for a thriller! Double triple yawn Buy somethibg else Trust me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be disjointed. There was little character development and I expected more of a psychological thriller.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Interesting until the end which Was a terrible letdown.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an easy read, and I read it in a day, but I was very unsatisfied at the end. First, and maybe this was due to the translation, but the author is obsessed with the word scream. It is used on almost every page and totally loses its emphasis by being so overused. Once I started realizing how often it was used I couldn't stop seeing it everywhere. Surely the editor could have consulted a thesaurus and suggested other words. Second, the ending seems extremely rushed. How the nanny went from doting on those children to what happened at the end was not clear and thus unbelievable, even if this was inspired by true events. This needed to be fleshed out. Plus I'm unclear on what exactly happened to the nanny at the end. And I had to go back to the front of the book to be reminded of what happened to the children because it's not discussed nor explained at the end. And even then, we still don't know what really happened. I also think there should have been some explanation for why the nanny would not even consider a possible job with newborn twins when she was so obsessed with taking care of a new baby to stay with the family. We don't know what happened with her previous hospital stay and nothing is ever explained there. I also wonder why she never had any money. If she wasn't paying her husband's debts and was throwing away the mail, why was she so destitute? She was getting paid to be a nanny, so surely she had some money. I don't expect every book to have a tidy ending, but this one was extremely annoying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No bow to wrap it up. Just ended without a why or happened. Good otherwise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, the author writes about the ending on the very first page. And it is a horrifically terrifying ending that I think will forever haunt me. Of course it is the fear of every mother, and the awful feeling that in today's world we cannot trust anyone to be alone with our children. I think it would have been a good book in my opinion if it had had a different ending. I must warn that it is disturbing to the point that I wish I had never read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I honestly do not understand all the fuss about this book. I found it sorely lacking in language, suspense and character development. No redeeming characters. Bleak.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not worth the paper it’s printed on or the pages of my Nook. Terrible....not one good thing about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Living in Paris’s tenth arrondissement, Paul and Myriam Masses are married and the parents of two young children, Mila and Adam. Myriam has not used her education and caring for the children has become boring for her. So when a former classmate asks her to join his lawn firm, she is ecstatic. Now, she needs to find a nanny and today she is doing interviews. After interviewing many women, she is taken in by Louise. The woman is in her 40s although she looks much younger. They hire her and both parents are delighted at everything that Louise manages to accomplish each day. Myriam dives into her new job working long hours and doesn’t miss being at home with the children. Louise is an enthusiastic and creative woman who goes to extremes to entertain the children. Myriam is amazed at her energy. Louise loves to play hide and seek but hides too long until the children become afraid that she has left them. But soon the kids catch on and understand her more. Louise is now the perfect nanny for Paul and Myriam. She does everything for them and their friends think she is wonderful. They even take her on vacation with them. After some time, Myriam begins to suspect that Louise is not everything she seems to be. There is something wrong and she can’t quite put her finger on it. But she does know she is going to have to get rid of Louise. Will take be possible? It seems Louise wants something from them very much, but what? This is a strange story. I understand the plot is meant to show the intensity with which some people view their jobs, but there is more to Louise. I feel that I was not able to fully glean the reason(s) for what made Louise who she is. I guess we just never know if someone is truly who we think they are. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book deals with issues that may make you uncomfortable, but this tragic story makes you examine how people treat one another when we become busy, preoccupied or when we believe we are superior to others. Read it.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Very quick read. A psychological portrait of a woma n losing her grip with reality. I enjoyed it and it’s creepy main character
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well structured. Reads like a real life story. Excellent prose.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have done research on the mother/nanny relationship for years, and while I agree that the author could get into the mind of Louise a bit better in order to justify the snap, I thought her handling of the pressures women face in terms of maternal ambivalence, pushback on them working, and their own sense of guilt about outsourcing carework is first-rate. I thought the writing was excellent and read it in one sitting. I'm not sure why people thought it would be a story of redemption based on the basic plotline, but it remains a strong morality tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally into... could not put down... ending was disappointing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book read in one day couldn’t put down
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
This was a truly interesting, thoughtful look at a tragedy from the lens of the characters psychology, and how truly innocent moments can be the intersection to devastation in life. Louise, is the perfect nanny, who has just murdered the two children left in her charge (no spoilers here - this occurs in the first two chapters of the book). Unwinding from here, Leila Slimani does incredible work of gently unfolding the story of who Louise was, and how she came to be a part of the Masses family, so deeply woven into the fabric of their lives. The book is chilling, as the reader begins to see signs of Louise's mental decline, and shadows of who she is when she is not the nanny. I wanted to scream out to the parents so many times while reading this. The tension is palpable, as you watch the cracks begin to show in Louise, and the repeated opportunities for Myriam and Paul to remove Louise from their family fold. This was a truly wonderful look at how quietly tragedy can sneak up on us, and how much more devastating that tragedy can be when there are no clear answers for WHY. An excellent, easy, fast paced read, that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written page turner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put the book down. Even though I knew the ending, getting there was mesmerizing. I hated Louise and felt so sad for her at the same time. This is not a light hearted read, but it is a very interesting read. I’m ready for the authors next book
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Myriam and Paul are the parents of two small children. When Myriam decides to go back to work, a search begins for a nanny. Never did they think they would find anyone as perfect as Louise. She's young, she's quite efficient, and she has a way with the children. She cooks, she cleans, she goes over and beyond what her duties actually are. Myriam and Paul are delighted and can't believe how lucky they are. But there's something about Louise ... something that bothers the parents. She seems to resent the same family that she loves and wants to be a part of. Louise has a past ... and secrets. The children will pay. This is a chilling debut novel that loosely draws on a real story of a nanny from the Dominican Republic who was accused of killing two children under her care in 2012. Be warned ... the first chapter is somewhat graphic and emotional. I can't honestly say I liked either of the parents, they come across as rather self-absorbed. The children were young and sweet and so innocent. I started out suspicious of Louise .. she was just too good to be true. The story goes back into time every few chapters which shows the life Louise has lived. I have ambivalent feelings about the ending ... it was a bit abrupt and didn't really answer the questions I had. Many thanks to the author / Penguin Publishing / Edelweiss for the advance digital copy of this Psychological Thriller. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
VioletsMom66 10 months ago
Plot: Louise, a 40-something single mother of a grown daughter goes to work as a nanny for a couple - Paul and Myriam - with two very young children, Mika and Adam. I'm not spoiling anything by saying that she kills the kids, because the first sentence of the book is, "The baby is dead." I enjoyed everything about this horrific, superbly written story. Through each chapter, I felt the tension and build-up to Louise's eventual mental break. When I know how something is going to turn out, I like finding the clues to the outcome along the way. I appreciated that there was barely any physical or gratuitous descriptions of the violence that ensued. The flashbacks of Louise's life before working for the family was a plus and helped me to better understand her fragile emotional state. Glued to every page, just like the last book I read, I finished this in one sitting. Louise is a complex and obviously very disturbed person...I mean she kills two children. But the author slowly reveals her life experiences and multifaceted personality is such a brilliant way, that by the time I read the last page I fully understood why she snapped. A few days ago there was yet another school shooting - the 16th in the United States this calendar year alone! - and as I listened to the news reporters trying to explain the psychological signs the killer may have exhibited before he shot everyone, it occurred to me that sometimes it's impossible to see that type of violence coming. Without spoiling the book, I'll just say that the parents of Mila and Adam most likely didn't have a clue what was coming their way. I think they may have known that Louise had a screw loose, but I can't imagine they thought she'd go that far. I look forward to reading other books by this author . This one will definitely haunt me for a while.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the style of writing