Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Review: The Perfect Nanny
This book is the definition of chilling. Slimani tells readers in the very first sentence exactly what the end of this story is going to be, but somehow manages to keep the suspense at both a slow burn and a fever pitch.
On the surface, this is the tale of a family who hires a nanny, Louise, when the mother goes back to work. They hire a nanny who their children love, who keeps their house clean and cooks meals their friends are envious of.
But all is not what it seems.
Slimani is masterful at ripping off the facade, of showing what it is that truly boils under the surface of a human being, especially one in a determined role of subservience. Louise is family, but she's not. She is loved, but she's not. Louise seems perfect, but she's not. Besides the chill of what you know is coming from sentence one, there is also the chill of the way the characters treat each other, the way humans can treat each other. And then there is a scene with a chicken carcass, and that's all I'm going to say about that so as not to spoil anything, but it just might be one of the eeriest, creepiest, most haunting things I've read in a long time.
This is a quick read, not just in length, but because this is a book that will not let you put it down.