How did I get it?:
I bought it!
When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect caretaker for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who 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.
The couple and nanny become more dependent on each other. But as jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, Myriam and Paul’s idyllic tableau is shattered…
This book has been on my radar for a while now. You may have seen it around as The Perfect Nanny which I believe, is its US title. It’s been a very hyped book this year. It definitely sounded like something that I would like to read. I didn’t realise before I had read it that it was based on a real-life nanny who killed the children she was caring for. That makes it even more terrifying.
Lullaby grabs you right from the start because it begins with the two children being murdered. Horrific. The story then goes back to the beginning when Myriam decides to go back to work and hire a nanny despite it not being the most cost effective option. Louise is hired and she seems absolutely perfect. She cooks, cleans and ensures the children are always smartly dressed, polite, happy and tidy. She really is a dream for Myriam and her husband, Paul. They take advantage of her showing her off to their friends during dinner parties that she cooks and hosts. Myriam and Paul can’t imagine life without her. They even take her on holiday with them. Gradually, Louise becomes TOO intense. Myriam starts to question whether Louise is too perfect…and whether there might a dark side to Louise.
I think Lullaby stands out because it’s quietly uncomfortable. You really do feel like you’re just reading about the main characters with not so much plot going on. However, there’s SO much going on and so much underlying tension. I was always waiting for Louise to snap. I knew right from the beginning what she had done but I was desperate to know the build up. I didn’t really ‘get’ the Gone Girl comparison. I think Lullaby stands aside from Gone Girl as it reveals at the start the awful nature of what lies between the pages.
I haven’t read the French original and don’t think I’ll ever tackle it, but I do think this has been translated well in the main part. I love the short and snappy sentences that build tension so beautifully.
I did enjoy Lullaby, it didn’t take me long to read at all. However, it didn’t blow me away as much as I thought it might do. I think the ending is something that put me off. I wasn’t completely satisfied with it. I wanted more about the aftermath, but I guess the author has left that to our own imaginations. I can see why Lullaby is getting the attention that it is.
Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars