About the Book
Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon mesmerized readers around the world, and went on to become an international bestseller. 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 starts with the death of Martijn van Vliet’s wife. Grief-stricken, his young daughter Lea retreats into the darkness of mourning. Then she hears the unfamiliar sound of a violin being played in the hall of a train station, and she is brought back to life—vowing to learn the instrument. And her father, witnessing this delicate spark, promises to do everything in his power to keep her happy. But as Lea blossoms into a musical prodigy, her relationship with her father starts to disintegrate. Desperate to hold on to his daughter, 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 and sacrifice as well as the poignant ways we strive to understand ourselves and our families.
Praise for Lea
A New York Times Book Review Paperback Row Selection
“[A] tale of grief, fraud, guilt and madness . . . Revelatory.”—New York Times Book Review
“[Mercier] brings to life the worlds of people who possess a single-minded focus on the perfection of an idea, a phrase, a game or a note . . . Like his previous novel, Night Train to Lisbon, Lea is full of searing images.”—NPR
“A psychologically astute portrait of a damaged family . . . For fans of Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes.”—Booklist
“An intense character study that poses significant questions regarding affection and fixation, and the cost each exacts.”—Washington Independent Review of Books
“A passionate tale of finding comfort in the wake of tragedy.”—World Literature Today
“A novella about an artist’s development . . . genius and madness, love and betrayal, fury and self-destruction, all carefully arranged to make a stunning portrait.”—Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Perfectly constructed, exciting, entertaining, enigmatic, memorable.”—Buchkultur
“Although the characters’ feelings become ever more complex and their actions less and less logical, the story itself never feels over-complicated or illogical, let alone sentimental. The frightening depths of the characters’ emotions are crossed by a kind of suspension bridge built by the author.”—Neue Zürcher Zeitung