‘Shot of Short’ #28: The Babysitter’s Code by Laura Lippman

Title: The Babysitter’s Code by Laura Lippman
Date Read: 21 March 2009
Available Online?: YES (as one of the stories posted by Harper Perennial on their website Fifty-Two Stories, which promises a new (or classic) short story from their collection, posted every week throughout 2009)

Briefly: An interesting story which follows the snooping ‘exploits’ of babysitter Terri Snyder as she roots around the drawers and wardrobes of the families she is charged with babysitting for. The plot quickly centres on one family in particular, the Delafields, where Terri quickly forgets the ‘rules’ of snooping (The Babysitter’s Code), and becomes increasingly infatuated with something she finds hidden.

Afterthoughts: Although I think in all fairness that this a story aimed more at readers of the fairer sex (I may be wrong on that one :o)), The Babysitter’s Code is a story that I quite enjoyed. It’s got a really nice flow to it, and I love how the story, among other things, explores a girl on the fringes of adulthood, exploring a woman’s world through the woman’s material belongings. All of this sounds a bit borderline pornographic, but it’s actually nothing of the sort!

Notable Quote: “Terri always found these forbidden snacks but left them undisturbed, obeying another unwritten rule: you may snoop all you like, but you must not move or in any way tamper with the secrets of the houses left in your care. Read the dirty books and magazines by all means, catalog the couple’s birth control (or lack thereof), poke through medicine cabinets and those mother lodes known as nightstands, but make sure everything and everyone is tucked in its respective bed before the parents return home.”

Rating: ★★★½☆

*Story read as part of my 100 Shots of Short reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).