The Ballad of Lila K
Number of pages
An unsettling love story and a young girl’s frantic quest for her origins, La ballade de Lila K sheds light on the possible downward spiral of society. More than four years after the massive success of her debut novel Une pièce montée, Blandine Le Callet is back with The Ballad of Lila K, an endearing and disturbing book set in a strangely shifting universe.
As a seven-year-old, Lila was taken from her mother and placed in The Center, a half boarding school, half prison from which she will be released when she reaches her majority—if she can pass the intelligence and psychology tests. Lila, now a young but sensible and intelligent woman, tells her story . . .
When Lila arrives at The Center, she is traumatized—a social misfit who sleeps on the floor. She appears to be anorexic, is afraid of light, and fears any physical contact. Despite her oddities, it soon becomes clear that she is highly gifted.
Lila, who has no recollection of her past, is obsessed with recovering her memory and finding her mother. She is placed under the guardianship of Mr. Kauffmann—an erudite polyglot who is fascinated by music. He slowly gains her trust and helps her to live in this sterile environment, far away from the “Zone,” the dangerous and corrupt part of the town from which she was taken. When Mr. Kauffmann dies from a heart attack, Lila moves to the protection of Fernand, who, with the help of Justinien, a robot, and Milo, the handsome director of the Library, helps her recover her past.
The author takes us on a fascinating journey, set in a future that doesn’t seem so far ahead: Books have been replaced by electronic devices called “grammabooks,” females undergo contraceptive-implants surgery, and the streets are equipped with monitoring devices.
Blandine Cuny-Le Callet :
Blandine Le Callet :
Blandine Le Callet is a Latin scholar. Her first novel, Une pièce montée, was sold to thirteen countries, made into a film, and awarded Best Paperback of the Year in 2007.