My Review: You will learn how the story ends on the first page of the novel. It opens with a brief graphic scene of violence depicting the death of two young children at the hands of their nanny. This almost had me closing the book, but I continued to see what happened next. I was uncomfortable reading most of this book, there was just a funny feeling in my stomach as I learned more about Louise, “The Perfect Nanny”. The story is told in the third person from different view points. As I read, I learned how Louise went from the perfect nanny to a murderess. We go from the ending right to when she is originally hired by Myriam and Paul to look after their two children. As the story unfolds we find out about previous jobs she had, her marriage and her daughter. All of these play a part in her descending to madness.
The scary part to me is how the loving parents unknowingly invited a madwoman into their home. They were so lucky to have found “The Perfect Nanny”. When Myriam began to suspect there was something wrong with Louise, it was too late. The characters could be anyone, anywhere. A mother who wants to return to work, then works crazy hours. A father who works a lot but does not feel guilty because they have a wonderful Nanny taking care of the children at home. That is another thing that makes it terrifying, it could happen anywhere to anyone. A short book that I read quickly and recommend to suspense and family drama lovers.
Synopsis: When Myriam, a mother and brilliant French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband are forced to look for a caretaker for their two young children. They are thrilled to find Louise: the perfect nanny right from the start. Louise sings to the children, cleans the family’s beautiful apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late whenever asked, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on each other, jealousy, resentment, and frustrations mount, shattering the idyllic tableau.
Slimani was born in Rabat, Morocco and studied later political science and media studies in Paris. After that she temporarily considered a career as an actress and began to work as a journalist for the magazine Jeune Afrique. In 2014 she published her first novel Dans le jardin de l’ogre, which two years later was followed by the psychological thriller Chanson douce. The latter quickly turned into a bestseller with over 450,000 copies printed within a year even before the book was awarded the Prix Goncourt.