Lullaby (Paperback)Leila Slimani (author)
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Winner of the 2016 Prix Goncourt
A compulsive, darkly chilling investigation into motherhood, class division and power, Lullaby caused a rush of controversy and debate when it was published in France under its original title, Chanson Douce, selling over a 100,000 copies in its first week alone.
Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer and her husband Paul, a successful music producer, have everything; good careers, a happy home life, two beautiful children. When Myriam decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children.
They never dreamed they would find Louise: 40-years old, experienced and apparently devoted to her work. She’s quiet, polite, she sings to their children, cleans the family's chic apartment in Paris's upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint and is able to host enviable birthday parties. Before long the couple are boasting that they’ve found the perfect nanny.
But as the couple and Louise become more dependent on each other, cracks begin to emerge in their perfectly crafted ideal. And as jealousy, resentment and suspicion increase, Myriam and Paul's idyllic tableau is shattered...
Tapping into every parents worst nightmare – the death of their children – Lullaby is both a tightly plotted, intricately woven thriller and a piercing investigation into society’s attitudes to motherhood, family and individual identity.
‘In terms of any controversy’ Slimani says, ‘I’m getting stuck into two huge taboos: child murder and the place of the mother today, so I expected a reaction, because the mother I write about is a woman who doesn’t want to be stuck at home, wants to work and sees the nanny as someone who can free her from her role as a mother. And that is something so many women feel but won’t admit. Because there’s still this idea that women are ‘abandoning’ their children when they go off to work. And yet nobody thinks that of men.’
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 253 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 15 mm
"Compulsively readable…" - The Times
"...an intelligent and unerringly humane piece of work" - The Observer
"A political book about emotional work, about women and children and their costs and losses which also works as a thriller, which is quite a balancing act to pull off. Brilliantly executed." - The Guardian
"This is a dark, unnerving exploration of class and conscience, power and impotence, and how the people with nothing to lose are the most dangerous people of all.' - The Express
"...a must read, slow burn thriller, which won the Prix Goncourt in France." - Daily Mail
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This novel has got one of the best opening lines I've read for a long time. It is impossible to put it down, takes on every issue; race, gender, motherhood, class.
Talk about a cleverly written book to chill... More
“Brutal and compelling”
Slimani's shocking and thrilling novel will have you holding your breath with every page. A paranoid tale of a stressed out mother taking solace in her Mary-Poppins-like nanny soon turns sour.
“Brilliant, couldn't put it down”
I've been in a bit of a reading slump, but I really couldn't put this down.
It's perfectly paced and plotted - pulling the reader through the gradual demise of the 'perfect' nanny. It's a... More
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