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Leila Slimani Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

In the Garden of the Ogre (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Perfect Nanny aka Lullaby (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Leila Slimani is a French journalist and renowned author, popularly known for the best selling novel, The Perfect Nanny. Born in Rabat Morocco, Leila Slimani relocated to France when she was only 17 years old, to study media and political science. After graduating from ESPC Europe, Leila Slimani opted for a career in acting. However, her career in acting did not take off as she expected and thus began working as a journalist, for Jeune Afrique magazine. In the year 2014, Leila Slimani released her first novel titled, In the Garden of the Ogre, which earned her, a La Mamounia literary award. Two years later, Leila Slimani published another book, a psychological thriller titled, Chanson Douce. Within three months, Chanson Douce became a bestselling novel with sales of more than 76,000 copies. Additionally, the novel also made Leila Slimani the most read author in France. In the year 2016, Leila Slimani received another literary award, the Prix Goncourt for her book, The Perfect Nanny.

Chanson Douce is available in more than 18 languages, with 17 more expected to come. Author Leila Slimani will release the English translation of Chanson Douce in 2018, as Lullaby in the United Kingdom and The Perfect Nanny in the United States.

Leila Slimani Best Books
The Perfect Nanny
The Perfect Nanny is a bittersweet, deftly written novel about a children’s nurse who ultimately turns into a monster. Taking care of someone’s child for cash is a queasy and bittersweet transaction, and many individuals who serve as nannies can attest to this. Despite a lack of future, status or rights, a nanny still possess emotional power and author Leila Slimani portrays this in her second novel, The Perfect Nanny. The Perfect Nanny is an explosive cocktail that shakes up with precision, which will undeniably take the reader’s breath away. In the Perfect Nanny, author Leila Slimani introduces the readers to Paul and Myriam, a successful and well heeded Parisian couple. Paul is a promising musician with fast rising talent, while Myriam, on the other hand, is a lawyer, who loves her career dearly. When Myriam and Paul get two children, they try to convince each other that their life will go on as usual, and the children will not have any impact on their careers and day to day activities.

However, it does not take long before Myriam begins to lose her sense of self since she has no option but to remain at home and take care of their two children. When a long time friend offers Myriam a job in his law firm, Myriam knows that she must take the job. To take the job, Myriam must first find a reliable person to take care of children. It is at this point that author Leila Slimani introduces the readers to Louise, an ageless doll-like widow, with pink painted nails, a Peter Pan collar, an unerring ability to entertain and make children feel like the perfect answer to their prayers. It does not take long before she makes herself indispensable to her hosts. Apart from solving the family’s childcare problems, Louise also solves their cleaning and housekeeping challenges.

Paul, Myriam, and the kids cannot help but wonder how they managed for such a long time without Louise. From the first page of the Perfect Nanny, it is clear that Louise is going to kill the two children considering, The Perfect Nanny is a psychological thriller. As time goes by, Myriam begins to come home later, mainly because she is confident that Louise is doing an excellent job in taking care of her children. Eventually, Myriam begins to sleep at the office, with the hopes of meeting deadlines. After a couple of months, Louise begins to mistreat the children. While spending time with the children, Louise narrates cruel tales, where the protagonists eventually die. Games of hiding and seek ultimately makes the children feel abandoned and scared, while Louise, on the other hand, untroubled and undetected.

The explicit details such as a sharp ceramic sushi-knife, a warm bath and a handful of neighbors who convince themselves that there was something off about the nanny from the start, seeps out slowly with a chilling slowness. Nonetheless, what the readers will be waiting for to the end is the motive and author Slimani ups the tension by scattering different clues across the book. Furthermore, author Leila Slimani treats Myriam’s decision to go back to work sensitively. The feeling that comes with winning a case and receiving compliments from the boss contrasts to the feeling of leaving the children at home.

In the Garden of the Ogre
In the Garden of the Ogre is a well-written book that is unfortunately disturbing and dark at the same time. Unlike many novels, the main character was quite unlikeable, mainly because she was very mean and arrogant. In this book, author Leila Slimani introduces the readers to Adele, a nymphomaniac who has lots of mental issues. Apart from having deep psychological issues, Adele is also incredibly cold, mean, selfish and judgemental. Adele’s character might have been a little bit interesting if, she had a reasonable personality while dealing with her sex addiction. Nonetheless, Adele is the way she is, and by the end of the book, the reader will not have any empathy for her. While reading the narrative, the readers cannot help but think about her meanness instead of her sex addiction.

Furthermore, what makes things worse is that Adele is privileged, which in turn means she does not have an excuse for what she does. Due to Slimani’s sleek writing style and her handling of key societal issues, In the Garden of the Ogre received the Prix La Mamounia, a literary award considered to be equivalent of the French Prix Goncourt. Many reviewers termed the book, In the Garden of the Ogre, the modern retelling of Madame Bovary. With that said, this book is a compassionate portrayal of sexual addiction through the eyes of the main character battling with isolation, the ultimate loss of self and separation. Author Leila Slimani has once again sensitively handled key issues.

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