REVIEW: THE PERFECT NANNY, BY LEILA SLIMANI

 

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 page, 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.

My Thoughts: Perfection, or the appearance of it, is a theme in The Perfect Nanny. We see examples of the well-ordered world the nanny creates for the Masses family on a lovely Paris street. She makes their lives easy, with her tireless care, the cleaning, the dinners, and the willingness to stay late.

But beneath the façade, Louise is a complex mix of disordered thoughts, fantasies, fears, and intensity. Back and forth the story goes, offering glimpses of other lives the woman has lived, including one with a very troubled daughter.

As she slowly unravels before their eyes, Myriam and Paul try to sort through their thoughts and decide how to extricate their lives from hers. It should be simple, right? But Louise has so carefully inserted herself into their family that removing her seems impossible.

In the beginning, we know the ending. As we turn the pages, fear and curiosity keep us going, even as spending another minute in Louise’s mind seems too horrific to bear. A creepy tale of madness, obsession, and the power of routines, at times I wanted to stop reading. But like the Masses family, who could not rid themselves of her, I was unable to extricate myself from this character study of a fascinating and disturbing woman. 4 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: FINDING MY “NORMAL” AGAIN…

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

 

Coming back home after the wedding weekend found me trying to get back into my routines, but not doing too well at it.  I had something scheduled every day this past week…until Thursday, when I finally settled into my reading.  I only read and reviewed TWO books this week, but they were both review books, and deadlines were looming.  Plus, they were both awesome!

I had started out the week by having lunch with an old friend at The Cheesecake Factory…and while I was waiting for her, I had this lovely drink, aptly named a Blood Orange Martini.

 

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On Wednesday, I had a spa day, and my daughter changed up my hairstyle with what she calls an A-line cut…and then curled it.  I think I just might like it!

At night, I did some more Netflix bingeing and finished Season III of Grace and Frankie.  I love that show!

So…without further ado, let’s take a look at last week.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Potpourri:  “One Perfect Lie”

Hump Day Reading:  Current, Past, and Future

Interior Thoughts:  Bookish & Not So Bookish….

Bookish Friday:  “Beach Breeze”

Rainy Day Reading….

Weekend Potpourri:  A Wedding at the Beach….

Review:  One Perfect Lie (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – (NetGalley – 4/4/17)Review:  Beach Breeze, by Joanne DeMaio – (Author Review Request)

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INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One purchased book arrived in my mailbox; I received two e-ARCs from NetGalley; and I downloaded two purchased e-books.

My Life to Live, by Agnes Nixon (Purchased)

 

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NetGalley Reviews:

The Bookshop at Water’s End (e-book), by Patti Callahan Henry – (7/11 Release)

 

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Every Last Lie (e-book), by Mary Kubica (6/27 Release Date)

 

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Purchased Downloads:

All By Myself, Alone (e-book), by Mary Higgins Clark

 

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Miss You (e-book), by Kate Eberlen

 

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SO WHAT’S NEXT?

Currently Reading:  The Perfect Stranger (e-book), by Megan Miranda (NG – 4/11)

 

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And then, perhaps:

Slightly South of Simple, by Kristy Woodson Harvey (Author Review)

 

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  I am ready to curl up and start reading…and maybe I will also watch something more on Netflix or Amazon Prime.  I think I’ll have some more coffee, too.

 

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES: SUNDAY & MONDAY ROUTINES

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Let’s muse a bit about our lives, our books, etc.  Check in at Should Be Reading to see what others are pondering.

Last night, I was happily reading Lauren Carr’s new mystery, Three Days to Forever, and occasionally coming into my office to do something on one of my sites.

 

 

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I don’t often write my thoughts about a book while reading it, but, as usual, this newest Mac Faraday adventure has so many complex layers that I’m taking notes.  Yes, just so I won’t forget any of the twists and turns.

As I have mentioned before, I tend to dream about the books I’m reading…after I finally go to sleep.  And I did just that.  But none of my dreams solved the mystery, so I’ll keep reading.

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In my office, I created a new header for my website:  Laurel-Rain Snow’s Creations.  I am always tweaking my headers and themes.  What do you think?

 

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While I was there, I added a little something to my header here.  Can you see it?

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This week, I’ll also be reading After the Party, by Lisa Jewell.  I really loved her book “The House We Grew Up In.” (Click for my review).

 

 

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Eleven years ago, Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary fell deeply in love. They thought it would be forever, that they’d found their happy ending. As everyone agreed, they were the perfect couple. Then two became four, and an apartment became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And they soon found that life wasn’t quite so simple anymore. But through it all, Jem and Ralph still loved each other. Of course they did.

Now Jem is back at work part-time as a talent agent. Ralph, a successful painter, is struggling to come up with new, hopefully groundbreaking, work for his upcoming show. But the unimaginable has happened. Two people who were so right together are starting to drift apart. And in the chaos of family life, Jem feels like she’s losing herself, while Ralph, stuck on the sidelines, feels like he’s lost his muse altogether. Something has to change. As they try to find a way back to each other, back to what they once had, they both become momentarily distracted—but maybe it’s not too late to recapture happily ever after…

This could be the story of many relationships….

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Sundays are a great day for me.  I usually stay in, watching Netflix; I’m almost finished with Season 7, the last one, of Gilmore Girls.  I have a whole queue of movies and shows waiting for me.

I love my Sunday night shows, but my favorites (Madame Secretary, The Good Wife) are on hiatus.  Back on March 1.

So I get that restless feeling in the evening, as time marches on.  Reading in bed gives me a crick in my neck, and I keep getting up and moving around.

But now it’s Monday…and I LOVE Mondays these days.  No more blues here!

What about you?  What do you love (or hate) about Sundays and Mondays?

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