Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon mesmerized readers around the world, and went on to become an international bestseller, establishing Mercier as a breakthrough European literary talent. Now, in Lea, he returns with a tender, impassioned, and unforgettable story of a father’s love and a daughter’s ambition in the wake of devastating tragedy.
It all starts with the death of Martijn van Vliet’s wife. His grief-stricken young daughter, Lea, cuts herself off from the world, lost in the darkness of grief. Then she hears the unfamiliar sound of a violin playing in the hall of a train station, and she is brought back to life. Transfixed by a busker playing Bach, Lea emerges from her mourning, vowing to learn the instrument. And her father, witnessing this delicate spark, promises to do everything and anything in his power to keep her happy.
Lea grows into an extraordinary musical talent―her all-consuming passion leads her to become one of the finest players in the country―but as her fame blossoms, her relationship with her father starts to disintegrate. Desperate to hold on to her, Martijn is pushed to commit an act that threatens to destroy them both.
A revelatory portrait of artistic genius and madness, Lea delves into the damaging power of jealousy as well as the poignant ways we strive to understand our families and ourselves.
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