Review published on March 4, 2018.
Lullaby by Leila Slimani is a short but stunning psychological thriller, whicht will have you gripped from beginning to end. This book has also been excellently translated from French by Sam Taylor, and I do not believe anything has been lost in translation. On reading Lullaby, it is easy to understand why it is a prize-winning thriller.
From the opening we know that the nanny has killed one of her two charges, the other is hanging on, but only just. What follows is the story of the nanny and her descent into a psychosis via obsession and wanting total control over her charges and their parents.
Myriam, a French-Moroccan mother and lawyer, decides she wants to return to work and carve out her career at the Bar. Her and Paul, her husband, must find the perfect nanny to take care of their children. When they find Louise, whose references make her sound second to none, a quiet and devoted nanny, they give her the job.
Louise and the family become deeply dependent on each other as the weeks pass. At the same time, Louise grows more obsessive about her charges and the family they have and wishes to be more involved within it, without actually being noticed. It is from this obsession that her breakdown will grow.
This is a fascinating and wonderful read as we watch the Louise’s life slowly unravel around her obsession, while at the same time being given a flavour of her life and background. This really is a clever thriller, which works on all levels.
Paul Diggett 5/5
Lullaby by Leïla Slimani
Faber & Faber 9780571337538 pbk Jan 2018
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