Leila Slimani, received the famous Prix Goncourt for her novel “Chanson douce”, a harrowing novel in the twists and turns of madness.
A terrible secret
In this novel Leila Slimani tells the story of a young lawyer happily who resumes her professional activity, especially since she has just hired a nanny for her two children. The latter is immediately perfect and irreplaceable. But it hides a terrible secret, which will lead to the irremediable. It’s a novel that reads like a detective story, with a tragic suspense holding the reader in a harrowing breath from the end to the beginning since the book begins with the end! From there, we follow the path that led to this drama told at the beginning of the novel: a mother who wants to get back to her professional life, the rigorous job interviews to find the right person, the good understanding of the children with Louise, her attendance, her overtime without ever asking for anything, the apartment which is always cleaned to perfection at the end of the day, the delicious meals she prepares…
An omnipresent nanny
The ideal nanny becomes essential in the family, essential in the eyes of the children like parents, even to the point of taking it with them on vacation in the summer. Then little by little comes the progressive estrangement, because of small events which follow one another, when she excessively makes up the four-year-old girl, or when she refuses waste to the point of feeding the children with expired food recovered from the family trash can. From there, this nanny with whom they feel less and less comfortable remains always omnipresent and no one knows how to get rid of it, until tragedy strikes.
A descent in the maze of madness
The descent into the abyss, in the maze of madness, takes shape slowly, little by little. Parents, caught up in their intense and intensive professional lives, do not want to see.
The countdown has begun. Out of the eyes of the parents, the reader witnesses this abyssal plunge into nothingness, towards a madness of which he alone knows the outcome.
In “Sweet Song”, Leïla Slimani is inspired by a sordid news item, two young children killed by their super nanny in 2012.
With her talent as a surgeon, she coldly describes, step by step, as one would advance in an investigation, the relationship between the parents Myriam and Paul, and the babysitter, Louise.