"The Perfect Nanny" by Leila Slimani

Updated: Jan 30, 2020


TITLE: The Perfect Nanny

AUTHOR: Leila Slimani

PUBLISHER: Penguin Books

PUBLISHED DATE: January 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0143132172

PAGES: 240

*Hype Lit Book Club Selection

This book had me shook!

I'm in my feelings, so there'll probably be spoilers....

A yuppie french Moroccan mom decides to return to work and hires a nanny to care for her daughter and son. After nearly a year of excellent care, the nanny kills the children. This book exemplifies character development, suspense building, and will take you all the way to the climax of the story and then pull a final-shot-of-the-Sopranos moment and leave you entirely hanging. I kind of loved it, but I understand why a lot of people don't and won't. This book is not your typical thriller. The quality of the writing pushes it squarely into a peak literary category. It does not aim to dissect the mind of a killer or to take the reader through a step by step of how the murderer commits a crime; instead it introduces you to the potential monsters that lay dormant all around you. In this way, it is chilling to its core.

In the very first sentence...you already know what has happened. Slimani begins ominously, "The baby is dead." I read that first sentence and proceeded until I was done. The consensus of the book club discussion was that this book was far too dark...particularly for our anniversary celebration, and we spent a better part of the meeting discussing literary novels that are not depressing...as you can imagine, that list is short.