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Lullaby... have you read it????(7 Posts)
By Leïla Smith... I've finished it but am confused.... what did you think?
I've just finished it. Hated the ending. Quite enjoyed it but it just felt a bit incomplete - like I was waiting for all of it to come together and there wasn't enough flesh on the bones of the story. Not enough dialogue either. And I thought the translation from French was pretty poor, you could tell it wasn't originally written in English. I couldn't sympathise with any of the characters as I really didn't warm to any of them. I couldn't work out if the author was trying to make the reader like or dislike Louise. I just found it all a bit perplexing.
What did you think?
You have summed up how I feel exactly. It just didn't round it off well! You ended up only liking the baby as the author made you dislike everyone even the small child!
Just finished it. One thing that left me confused was Louise's money problems. Clearly she was drowning in debt, but I didn't understand why she was unable to pay her rent etc, as she was earning?
I agree that the ending was unsatisfactory- I felt that the introduction of characters like the police inspector was hasty and underdeveloped.
Overall though I did think it was a clever and in some ways quite interesting book - what I found interesting was the exploration of how people (Mariam and Paul) manage to justify unacceptable things - their exploitation of the nanny, her obvious problems and loneliness - in order to preserve their own convenience/ peace of mind.
I have just finished it!
For me, I thought the power interplay - both Louise and Myriam had power over each other in different ways - was so well portrayed. I also thought how, if you have little self respect, others lose respect for you, however much you put yourself out...which then felt like more rejection for Louise. I really loved the French feel that the translator managed to keep through the English words. @Esker - I think the money issues were such (so much litigation her husband undertook), that her income would have gone straight to pay his debts, leaving her without much money (when Paul bangs on at Louise about the letter of debt that came to him has her employer helped explained a bit more to my mind). I enjoyed it a lot.
Yes I do understand that her income would have gone to service her husband's debts, but I was confused as the narrative seemed to be saying that she completely buried her head in the sand about this and ignored all the letters, ie wasn't paying any of them... anyway - I'm niggling.
I agree that the power dynamics are very interesting and well crafted. Good point you make also about the loss of self respect affecting the way others treat you.
I loved some of the passages describing how easy everything seemed with Louise (in the good days at the start). It's everyone's fantasy, isn't it, a magical nanny who makes your house feel big and bright and spacious ... But serious questions raised about the exploitation of domestic workers. Our convenience comes at a great cost. The comment made by Maryam's awful friend really stuck with me: 'If your nanny has children, it's better if they're back in her home country so they won't make demands on her time.'
@esker Yes, I guess that was a bit weak about the money. I just thought it had something about it that set it above some of the other books that grabbing the spotlight at the moment. It is thought provoking the whole question of exploitation, just like the phrase you chose.... Thank you for the lovely response!!
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