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Chanson douce by Leïla Slimani

“Lullaby” is a very realistic and disturbing psychological drama, based on a real-life murder of children by their nanny in New York in 2012. 

Leïla Slimani evokes the case of young parents who, preoccupied with their careers, willingly entrust the education of their children to a nanny. Overwhelmed and in a hurry, they abandon their daily role as father or mother. 

Through this story, Louise, the “supernanny”, will fill the void left by the parents and gradually consolidate her hold on this family while compensating for her own emotional deficiencies. Moreover, the author shows us how the couple, now employers, will sometimes have humiliating words for their employee. Although she has taken her place in the family nucleus, she remains an outsider and her presence is only temporary. 

The psychological character of the characters is described with precision, which allows the tension to remain permanent. Shaken by a poignant incipit, the reader is then captivated by a suspense that does not falter and follows with interest the growing madness of Louise.

 

 

The book was awarded the Goncourt Prize in 2016, the French literature prize awarded by the Goncourt Academy to the author of “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year.”

AUTHOR

Kenza BENOHOUD

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