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Chanson douce (Folio, 10851) (French…
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Chanson douce (Folio, 10851) (French Edition) (edition 2018)

by Leïla Slimani (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3349210,933 (3.43)73
"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"--… (more)
Member:EmmyBou
Title:Chanson douce (Folio, 10851) (French Edition)
Authors:Leïla Slimani (Author)
Info:GALLIMARD (2018), 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

Lullaby by Leïla Slimani

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» See also 73 mentions

English (75)  Spanish (6)  French (4)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (92)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Three stars because it was good enough to keep me interested all the way through but the plot had a lot of holes. Oh yah...and I hated everyone, especially Paul & Myriam, who are both idiots. How many red flags do you have to see before you get a clue that something is seriously wrong with the woman minding your children?

And was there a point to the Wafa character and storyline? If so I must've zoned completely out.

But yah, despite the irritations, it was a good book. LOL ( )
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
Nobody is perfect. It is amazing how often we all forget this, often conveniently when it suits our purposes. I have no children and will never need to find a nanny to watch them so my base of knowledge in coming to this book is limited in that area but I found the story here to be fascinating, engaging, and nearly entire realistic. This was a very good book. It somehow manages to be fairly short and let full of depth, which I guess reemphasizes that depth of story does not come from verbosity but from exact writing. This book may have some of the best use of flashbacks that I've found in a thriller. They are quick and illustrate a point clearly. I would also present this book as a great example of "show, don't tell" in action. There is very little narration telling us that a character is one way or another. All is revealed through actions and interactions and I think that is another part of the depth of the story. Finally, this book does such a great job of destroying the illusion of the world being binary. The world is not black & white, the world is gray, and by using the title to set up the illusion of perfection the book then goes about showing how nothing is perfect, nothing is all good or all bad, and life if very complicated. Not a happy book but a very interesting one. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
As someone without kids I don't have any personal experience with needing childcare, but regardless, this novel was a riveting exploration of how the need to outsource the care of your child creates all kinds of other needs in yourself, and how the relationship between a nanny and their family is far more complicated than mere employee and employer. I wouldn't even call this a whodunit - the nanny did it, as you learn in the first chapter - so it's not the plot mechanics that make it so engrossing, it's the exploration of how and why it came to pass that a seemingly perfect and indispensable nanny could murder the 2 children in her care, and how being a mother can create feelings of guilt and insecurity even when you know you're doing the right thing - when you feel like you have to solve every problem, that feeling itself can be a vulnerability. There's a twist on the familiar race and class angle (the family is Moroccan-French like Slimani herself, while the nanny is white French), but for the most part the book is about need: what do you do with the knowledge that you're outsourcing perhaps the most important job of all, that you're helpless without someone and dependent on them for the things you love most? There's no happy answers here, but it is a very engrossing, lurid exposition of those questions. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
It's a shame this book is repeatedly compared to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. It is neither. It's not a fast-paced thriller or a suspense novel or even a mystery. The Perfect Nanny/Lullaby is a story built on deep character development between a family and their nanny who as time passes shows signs of mental instability.

More thoughts to come.. ( )
  booksforbrunch | May 5, 2021 |
The Perfect Nanny Leïla Slimani- (Sam Taylor- translator) is a 2018 Penguin Books publication. (First published in 2016)

A missed opportunity- but still a deeply disturbing story

Myriam, a lawyer, took a break from her career after having her children. Now, she is ready to return to work and is looking for a reliable nanny.

An incredible stroke of luck brings Louise into their lives. Louise is quite possibly the best nanny since Mary Poppins. Before long she has nearly become a part of the family. As their lives become more entwined, an unspoken uneasiness begins to bloom between the parents and the Nanny….

This book was absolutely everywhere I looked a couple of years ago. Publisher emails, Goodreads, social media, the library- all got behind this one with a huge publicity push. I added it to my TBR pile, although I had no plans to read the book right away, as I had noticed several other books featuring nefarious au pairs or nannies were published around the same time as this one. Sensing a possible trend, I decided not to take the bait- at least not right away.

Culling through my TBR list recently, I paused when I came to this one. It’s been on my list for a long time, the ratings are lukewarm despite it having won some awards. On the other hand, the book was based on true events, which piqued my curiosity, and it was a short book, so even if it wasn’t great, it wouldn’t have taken up much of my time. So, I decided to give it a try.

The book, as I mentioned, is loosely based on a true story, and is the stuff nightmares are made of. Naturally, this type of tragedy can give one pause, and certainly this book addresses the overly ambitious couple’s priorities- but it almost veered off into victim blaming-squarely placing more of the blame on the mother- not so much on the father- as he was fine with his wife not ever returning to work, and it was she, who felt she need to get back to her career. Not sure I liked the implications of that, as both parents were equally neglectful and consumed with their professional lives.

On the flipside of that coin, these professionals fail, in their utter and complete self-absorption, to ask any questions, to think of Louise’s personal life, her background, where she lives, if she has her own family, etc., spotlighting the wide class disparity between them, and the rather flippant disregard and presumptions about Louise.

That said, the book plays off the fears many parents have about leaving their children in the care of other people, thus the infamous’ nanny cam’.

The author does a great job at building the tension, and although we know in advance exactly where all of this is headed, it is no less riveting and has no impact on the level of suspense.

The only thing that kept this book from getting a stronger rating from me is the abrupt conclusion. I think it is almost as if the author got to this point and got stuck, unable to further explore the aftermath more fully.

I don’t always expect pat answers, and often think an ambiguous ending is more appropriate than tying everything up in a nice, neat bow, but this ending, in my humble opinion, is just unacceptable, really.

Overall, this book had real potential- the author’s well written critique of class divisions, and of various other societal ills, coupled with a truly unsettling and frightening premise, created a solid foundation, but instead of leaving me with plenty of food for thought, the last impression I had of the book was that it felt unfinished somehow, which is most unfortunate.

3 stars ( )
  gpangel | Apr 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
One can see why the judges were wowed. The voice of Slimani's omniscient narrator is chill and precise; her plot spares neither her characters' fates nor her readers' sensibilities.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Slimani, Leïlaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cappellini, ElenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Embarek López, MalikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heile, CatherinePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maes, GertrudTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, SamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thoma, AmelieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Miss Vezzis came from across the Borderline to look after some children who belonged to a lady until a regularly ordained nurse could come out. The lady said Miss vezzis was a bad, dirty nurse and inattentive. It never struck her that Miss Vezzis had her own life to lead and her own affairs to worry over, and that these affairs were the most important things in the world to Miss Vezzis.---Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills.
"Do you understand, dear sir, do you understand what it means when there is absolutely nowhere to go?" Marmeladov's question of the previous day came suddenly into his mind. "For every man must have somewhere to go."---DOSTOYEVSKY, Crime and Punishment
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Das Baby ist tot. Wenige Sekunden haben genügt.
The baby is dead.
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"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"--

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