The Perfect Nanny (Paperback)

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A huge best-seller in France, The Perfect Nanny packs a punch that its brief length belies. It addresses issues both topical and enduring through the lens of the relationship of a young professional Parisian couple and the caregiver they hire for their two young children when the mother has a chance to return to work. The relationship between the children's parents and "the perfect nanny" becomes increasingly erratic and unstable. The plot leads to the unspeakable crime foretold in the chilling first sentence: "The baby is dead." But this is no clear-cut thriller. Slimani subtly weaves a range of complex issues throughout the narrative: society's expectations of mothers and mothers’ expectations of themselves, our connection to the people who work for us, our view of immigrants, and how the ways we see ourselves differ from the realities of who we are. The Perfect Nanny is a striking, powerful, and thoughtful novel that, rightly, leaves the reader with more questions than answers. It's a book that doesn't let go easily, and we’re the better for that.

— From Clara's Picks


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

"Talk about a guilty pleasure." --The Washington Post

Instant National Bestseller

Named One of 2018's Most Anticipated Books by NPR's Weekend Edition, Real Simple, The Millions, The Guardian, Bustle, and Book Riot

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

About the Author

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.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143132172
ISBN-10: 0143132172
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: January 9th, 2018
Pages: 240
Language: English