The Protégé

Original title: De beschermelinge

Author: Sys, Mira

Publication Date:

April 2022



Original language and publisher

Dutch | Meulenhoff

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. Dutch


Debut Novel, Literary Fiction

The Protégé

Original title: De beschermelinge

Author: Sys, Mira


“A carefully constructed debut. Sys knows how to describe a scene in a pressing yet unsentimental way.” — De Morgen

“A remarkable book that gets under your skin. For the readers of Lise Spit and Griet op de Beeck, but just a little bit more disruptive.” — Janna Navis, Bookseller at Dominicanen in the Libris Zomerkrant

An exciting and layered debut about family ties and the question of whether our memories can be trusted

For Linda, the memorial service is the moment when everything comes back. She sees the images again and they hurt her more after all these years than she could have imagined. Her boyfriend Frank’s patience is gradually running out. Why is she pushing him so far away?

She hasn’t told anyone about what really happened, the days when she wandered aimlessly in the woods with her brothers. About the cold, the friendship, or the salty tears. When she was a child, she could hardly foresee the consequences. But now, as a grown woman, it becomes painfully clear that in order to move forward, she must face the past.

The Protégé is a riveting psychological drama that surprisingly unfolds across several timelines. In the past, Sys follows a group of siblings who do not want to let go of their childhood. In the present, through the eyes of Linda and one of her brothers, it slowly becomes clear how their youth has shaped their further lives. Mira Sys provides an oppressive insight into how echoes from the past can resound and asks an important question: how reliable are memories?


Marketing Information

  • English sample available