'[This] emotionally riveting debut novel focuses on several dynamic women in a wealthy suburb of Paris and a tragic event that changes their lives. Bestor-Siegal had me at Paris and she never let go. The Caretakers is extraordinary' Laura Dave, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me
In a smart Parisian suburb, in the wake of the Paris 2015 terrorist attacks, an au pair is arrested after the sudden and suspicious death of her nine-year-old charge...
The truth behind what happened is unravelled through six women: Geraldine, a heartbroken French teacher who struggles to connect with her vulnerable students; Lou, an incompetent au pair fired by the family next door; Charlotte, a chilly socialite and reluctant mother; Holly, an anxious au pair who yearns to feel at home in Paris; Nathalie, an isolated French teenager desperate for her mother's attention; and finally, Alena, the au pair accused of killing a child...
For fans of Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You and Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, The Caretakers is a compulsive and gripping debut about who takes care of children, the yearning for belonging that extends beyond the homes left behind, and issues of identity, privilege, and class in both American and French culture.
Paris, 2015. A crowd gathers outside the Chauvet home in the affluent suburban community of Maisons-Larue, watching as the family's American au pair is led away in handcuffs after the sudden death of her nine-year-old charge. The grieving mother believes the young woman is to blame, and the neighbourhood is thrown into chaos, unsure who is at fault - the enigmatic foreigner or the mother herself, who has never seemed an active participant in the lives of her children.
The truth lies with six women: GÃ©raldine, a heartbroken French teacher struggling to support her vulnerable young students; Lou, an incompetent au pair who was recently fired by the family next door; Charlotte, a chilly socialite and reluctant mother; Nathalie, an isolated French teenager desperate for her mother's attention; Holly, a socially anxious au pair yearning to belong in her adopted country; and finally, Alena, the one accused of the crime, who has gone to great lengths to avoid emotional connection, and now finds herself caught in the turbulent power dynamics of her host family's household.
Set during the weeks leading up to the event, The Caretakers is a poignant and compulsive drama featuring complicated women. The weight of secrets, the pressures of country, community, and family - and miscommunications and misunderstandings that can have fatal consequences - all play a part in nine-year-old Julien's death...
Amanda Bestor-Siegal's emotionally riveting debut novel focuses on several dynamic women in a wealthy suburb of Paris and a tragic event that changes their lives. Bestor-Siegal had me at Paris and she never let go. The Caretakers is extraordinaryThe Caretakers is a deep, enthralling pleasure, as wise as it is lovely. I read it voraciously, desperate to discover the fates of its unforgettable characters - but also with a deep regret that each page was bringing me closer to the end. I could have happily luxuriated in its words and world forever. It defies belief that this is a debut novel: it is magnificentTender, brutal, frightening, captivating, The Caretakers is a novel about child care and abandonment that is as beautifully complicated as parenting itself. Amanda Bestor-Siegal opens for us the bloody heart of the contemporary family and exposes its darkest chambers - the loneliness, the longing, the love - to the light
How rare this is, a book - a first book - that has it all. The Caretakers is thrilling and deeply moving, gorgeously written and intricately plotted, morally complex and surprising and sweeping and intimate, with some of the most indelible and heart-breaking characters I have ever encountered in a novel. It's a bold and brilliant bookThis is going to be one of the big book club books of 2022. I cannot stress enough how bewitching I found this brilliantly plotted novel about au pairs in Paris. If you enjoyed Big Little Lies, you will doubly love this novel! . . . It is an intricate tale of six women searching for happiness and love, and working hard for their families and to achieve their dreams. Some are running from their past, some are trying to find their way, and some are stuck in the present. We hear from three au pairs, as well as the mother of the child who died, his older sister, and the woman who teaches French to the au pairs. It's an absolutely stunning debut novel about class and identity, and so expertly executed. It's devastating and captivatingWith well-developed characters and a strong sense of the city, this is a heart-wrenching novel about family, what can happen when a stranger is let in and the desire to belong