Book of the Month: Lullaby
Lullaby is a compulsive, riveting and bravely-observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity and motherhood
About the book
When Myriam, a brilliant French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work, she and her husband are forced to look for the perfect caretaker of their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, tends to the family's chic apartment in Paris's upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint and hosts enviable birthday parties.
As time goes on, the couple and their nanny become more and more dependent on each other. And as jealousy, resentment, and suspicions increase, Myriam and Paul's idyllic tableau is shattered.
About the author
Leïla Slimani's Lullaby garnered much praise and acclaim – including winning the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize. Her first novel, Dans le jardin de l’ogre (to be published as Adèle by Faber & Faber in 2019), also won the Prix La Mamounia. Slimani is a French-Moroccan journalist and frequent commentator on women's and human rights. She lives in Paris with her husband and two young children.
The English version of Lullaby has been translated from the French by Sam Taylor.
Leila says: “I am so grateful that the Mumsnet Book Club has selected Lullaby. I wanted to explore contemporary maternity – what does it mean, today, to be a mother, a woman, and a professional at the same time?”
What our bloggers thought
“This ranks as one of my scariest thrillers of all time – because it plays on a fear that is so very, very real in our minds.”
“More than just a psychological thriller, it's a smart and complex read that will leave you with more questions than answers. But I don't think you need them to fit all the pieces together.”
“While perhaps not to everyone's taste, it has the marks of a masterpiece – especially the languid unpicking of the central characters. As the reader, even though you know how it ends, it feels like a race against time.”
“An excellent commentary on motherhood, class, and gender. It left me feeling shaken and mildly disturbed at what I had read.”
“Undoubtedly one of the darkest, most mesmerising books I have read – it will stay with me for a long time to come.”
“Everything seemed so perfect, that I forgot the grizzly opening and wondered where I might get my very own Louise…”
Leïla Slimani will be joining us to answer questions about Lullaby on Tuesday 11 September between 9 and 10 pm.
New to Mumsnet Book Club? Find out how it works, and what we'll be reading in the next few months
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Prices correct at time of publication