Hôtel de la Folie by David Le Bailly

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Fans of Patrick Modiano, beware: David Le Bailly has written a moving novel, a poignant tribute to Pià Nerina, this comforting but oh so mysterious grandmother.

Who was this woman, a flamboyant Neapolitan, penniless, uneducated and unmarried, who became a landowner in the most fashionable districts of Paris?

David Le Bailly takes us on an emotional chase, where the slightest remaining evidence and established truths are soon to be shattered. From her native Italy and the famous Hôtel de la Folie to the Riviera, how did Pià Nerina achieve such social status? The price she had to pay was certainly bearing the madness of her daughter – the narrator’s mother. Madness, which one day became unbearable and led to this desperate act: throwing herself out of the window, in front of her grandson, who admired and loved her so much that he went out  looking for answers. The whole quest begins at that very moment, on the very first page of the book, and David Le Bailly takes us along on this search for identity and truth, fraught with disillusionment and adventure.

Hôtel de la Folie by David Le Bailly, éd. Seuil.

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