This Little Family – Ines Bayard

The next Lullaby: a dark and thought-provoking novel about a young woman who poisons her baby, her husband and herself

‘You can’t stop reading, even as you want to look away’ New York Times

Life is going well for Marie. She and her husband, Laurent, live a comfortable life in a large apartment in the eleventh arrondissement in Paris. Laurent has a good job at a big law firm and Marie enjoys her work at a bank, where she feels appreciated by her clients and colleagues.

Comfortable and secure, and ready for family life, the couple begin to try for a baby. But not long afterwards Marie experiences a shocking encounter which threatens to derail their plans completely, and her world slowly starts to fall apart.

Less than two years later, the family’s apartment is cordoned off by police tape as forensic officers examine a horrific scene in the family apartment. Three bodies around a dining table. Marie, Laurent and their little toddler, Thomas, in his high chair. All three of them have been poisoned by Marie.

This Little Family is a dark and furiously compelling novel about women, power and control, from a bright young star in French literature.

Inès Bayard was born in Toulouse, France, in 1991. She lived and studied in Paris for several years before relocating in 2017 to Berlin, where she is currently based. This Little Family is her first novel

My Review:

Firstly, this book needs to come with several trigger warnings – so please read the blurb above before you venture into this book as it’s harrowing and heart-breaking.

This Little Family is the incredible debut novel from author Ines Bayard, translated from French and is about the devastating aftermath of a violent and brutal rape.

Marie is happily married to Laurent and lives in a Paris apartment. She loves her job, her family, her husband and is living the perfect life when she suffers an unspeakable act of violence at the hands of her boss.

Consumed by fear, revulsion, angry, shame, guilt and disgust she is unable to tell anyone about her attack and so begins the slow, painful and ultimately destructive path for her and her “little family”

This is a book that will haunt you for weeks after you have finished it. It’s brutal, raw, emotional, powerful, disturbing and utterly horrifying.

If you enjoy dark literature – then I would recommend this book. It managed to get under my skin within the first few chapters and despite reading several books since this will stay in my mind for a long time.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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