Ah! I could not wait to get my imperfectly manicured hands on ☛THE PERFECT NANNY [pub: Penguin Books] by Leila Slimani. No spoilers, but, listen, the first line is:
The baby is dead.
Originally entitled CHANSON DUCE in France and currently called LULLABY in Britain, Morrocan-French writer Leila Slimani is “the first Moroccan (and pregnant) woman to win France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt, which she won for The Perfect Nanny. A journalist and frequent commentator on women’s and human rights, she 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.”
Per Penguin Randomhouse:
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, 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. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood—and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.
The #1 international bestseller and winner of France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt.
Praise for THE PERFECT NANNY:
A year ago, I picked up a book . . . that I’ve thought about pretty much every day since. . . . [It] felt less like an entertainment, or even a work of art, than like a compulsion. I found it extraordinary. . . . If you are a mother, whatever kind of mother you aspire to be, you’ll know what kind of mother you are after reading Slimani. If you are not a mother, the insights that she administers can be no less jolting. . . . Like Jenny Offill, Slimani can write ravishingly of female bodies, even postpartum ones. . . . The novelist Rachel Cusk has chronicled what motherhood did to her; Slimani examines what mothering is doing to society.
—Lauren Collins, The New Yorker