Myriam and Paul cannot believe their luck. They’ve found the perfect nanny, their children love her and they cannot imagine their lives without her. But, she will murder them before attempting to kill herself.
Author: Leila Slimani
Press: Faber and Faber
Set in Paris and laced with racial tensions and domestic politics this novel quickly takes on a claustrophobic atmosphere.
I’d heard very mixed reviews of this novel with people calling it trash, critiquing the translation as well as the sense that you don’t ever find out what has happened and why. Although I have found myself frustrated by the latter of these it didn’t massively impact my enjoyment of the novel, which I inhaled during a single train journey (yes I have spent most of the past month on public transport).
There is something deeply unsettling in the language and the lack of fulfilment felt universally by the adults. There is an omnipresent darkness, a murkiness, and this becomes a deeply threatening, sinister player in the book.
Each of the adult characters felt well developed and, each in their own way, conniving. The sense that there we are each an iceberg, known fully only to ourselves and hiding much of our past and present lives from the people we interact with on a daily basis made Lullaby chilling.
Featured image: Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash
Second image: Photo by George Kedenburg III on Unsplash