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Santrauka: Left Bank opens with a parent’s worst nightmare. Olivier and Madison Malin, a glamorous Parisian power couple, are spending a day at PlayWorld Paris, Europe’s largest and most extravagant amusement park, when their six-year-old daughter, Sabine, disappears. Olivier and Madison are in the midst of a marital squabble—one of many, it becomes clear—when they realize that the precocious Sabine has not returned from her ride on the roller coaster. It is in this state of panic that we first meet the Malins: Madison, a gorgeous American expatriate who has made her career in Paris as an actress, and Olivier, a public intellectual, writer, and gourmand, the darling of the Left Bank’s literary salons. Their fabulous French lifestyle seems almost perfect—but when Sabine goes missing, both Madison and Olivier realize they may be a bit more concerned with Vogue cover shoots and expensive cheeses than with raising their only child. Nine months before the incident at PlayWorld, Madison hires Anna Ayer, a young twenty-something British girl with purple streaks in her hair and a tongue stud, to be Sabine’s nanny. Anna is fluent in French and English and is able to help with Sabine’s bilingual education, but soon after she moves into the chambre de bonne above the Malins’ posh apartment in the Seventh Arondissement, she finds that she has not only befriended the sweet and loving young girl but has become privy to many intimate secrets about this famous family’s personal lives. Madison, an elegant and icy woman who has shed all traces of her Texas-born heritage, is distant and curt with Anna, and often not much kinder to Sabine. She has no patience for many of the trappings of childhood, and prefers to let Anna fingerpaint and play imaginary games with her daughter while she is away on movie sets. Olivier does not wish to be bothered with “small matters,” as he refers to Sabine, and spends much of his time teaching, locked in his study, or entertaining a series of mistresses that everyone seems to know about but no one ever speaks of aloud. Life in the Malin household becomes complicated when Olivier’s latest romantic conquest turns out to be Anna—the two grow close after Anna rejects her French boyfriend and she begins attending Olivier’s intellectual gatherings. Before long, they find themselves having clandestine dinners at local cafés, enjoying romantic trysts at a local hotel, and hoping to avoid the prying eyes of Mme. Canovas, the apartment building’s concierge. Mme. Canovas, though she is a busybody, provides solace for Sabine when it turns out that Sabine ran away from PlayWorld on her own, tired of listening to Madison and Olivier’s self-involved bickering. But when Madison realizes her daughter feels closer to Anna than to her own parents, she decides it is time that she made some changes in all of their lives. Told alternately from Anna, Madison, and Olivier’s perspectives, Left Bank is a bitingly sharp satire of marriage, family, and career—and a look at what goes on behind the apartment windows of Paris’s most exclusive and intellectual neighborhood. With an incisive wit, an ear for clever dialogue, and a keen understanding of self-perception, Kate Muir has created a delightful tale that is as charming and entertaining as it is revealing.