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The Perfect Nanny

A Novel
Narrated by: Finty Williams
Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

Regular price: $24.50

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Publisher's Summary

*One of the 10 Best Books of the Year of The New York Times Book Review*

*National best seller*

“A great novel... Incredibly engaging and disturbing... You read the entire novel knowing something terrible is coming. In that, Slimani has us in her thrall.” (Roxane Gay, New York Times best-selling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger) 

“A book... that I’ve thought about pretty much every day... [It] felt less like an entertainment, or even a work of art, than like a compulsion. I found it extraordinary.” (Lauren Collins, The New Yorker)

“One of the most important books of the year. You can’t unread it.” (Barrie Hardymon, NPR’s Weekend Edition)

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 decides to return to work as a lawyer after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their son and daughter. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic Paris apartment, 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 sentence, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, motherhood, and madness - and the American debut of an immensely talented writer. 

The number-one international best seller and winner of France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt, by the author of Adèle.

©2019 Leila Slimani (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

A Best Book of the Year:

  • The New York Times Book Review
  • The Boston Globe
  • Real Simple
  • Lit Hub
  • Entertainment Weekly (honorable mention) 

Plus:

  • Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller
  • Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original

 “Deliciously twisty...Slimani's exploration of race and class is razor-sharp and brilliantly provides the fuel for a hair-raising tale of domestic horror." (Entertainment Weekly)

“The first ‘hot’ novel of 2018.... Talk about a guilty pleasure.” (The Washington Post

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

not what I expected based on the hype

This is going to be one of those “The Emperor is not wearing clothes”, situations –– I have to call it because I don’t understand all the fuss and praise and I’m not a bandwagon jumper.

I was expecting more of a calculating nanny who did everything she could to appear perfect to everyone but deep down or maybe even just not in an obvious way she had twisted secrets or a kind of malicious darkness about her. However, this nanny wasn't like that, although she was initially great at her job, she also had a lot of obvious flaws and even signs of her instability and state of mind, even early on.

I feel unsatisfied about the story as a whole mainly because we don't get to understand the nanny's rationales and ways of thinking and what truly bothered or disturbed her because her background story (the little that was offered to the audience) was not anything horrible or utterly tragic that could be traced to her actions. There was no real sense of why she did the things she did, there were very scant hints and backstory about her. My only conclusion and also based on a quick mention in the book is that she had some mood issues, but nothing more was revealed about that. Any issues about race were quickly mentioned: the mother of the children spoke Arabic or grew up speaking it at least a little and possibly was from an associated culture and the nanny was a blonde caucasian woman –– but there was no direct conflict relating to this.

I just listened to the author's other book Adele and I feel the same way, I was hoping The Nanny would be significantly better and remarkable but it just wasn't. I don't know if there are fundamentals that are lost in translation –– if it was originally written in French, but the book was just lacking, but that also may be due to all the hype surrounding the book beforehand.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Good premise, vastly disappointing ending

I have never really read French fiction, so I don’t know, culturally, what they are generally like.

This book has some interesting moments. It has some scary insights into the Nanny’s mind.

But the abrupt ending keeps me from fully enjoying this book. Is it a thriller? Definitely not.

Even though this could be considered a character drama, the characters are woefully one-dimensional. The husband is annoying and the wife selfish. The Nanny is interesting, but nothing about anything is fully fleshed out. It feels like a novella from someone who has never written anything of value.

Some will most definitely enjoy it, but I did not.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • JM
  • 03-31-19

Horrible

Stupid story, stupid ending. Had to return it after 5 hours of torture. Too predictable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

That was unpleasant and unnecessary. I guess it’s my fault for continuing to listen knowing the end. The reader was lovely.

That was unpleasant and unnecessary. I guess it’s my fault for continuing to listen knowing the end. The reader was lovely.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

It’s a miss

If you didn’t know there was going to be a murder (which is told to the reader at the beginning) one would NOT keep reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Zzzzzz

This came highly recommended and I have no idea why. It started off good, had my attention. Then in droned on and on. I kept listening as I was hopeful it would get better. What it did was put me to sleep! Great book if you have insomnia! Horrible, absolutely horrible. Waste of money.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

But why?!?!

Intense and shocking! Very well written and the narration was perfect! Too short tho...wanted more.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So much potential...then nothing

There was no story arc. It went nowhere. The big surprise is literally the first thing, so you expect some sort of explanation. You never get it. The story just stops. Disappointing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed this one!

Intriguing and fascinating story. This was well written and MUCH better than most of the mediocre thrillers that are out now.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Page turner, but

The ending left me wanting more! I really enjoyed the story and could not hardly stop listening to it.....that ending!