The Life of Elves

The Life of Elves

eBook - 2016
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A moving and deeply felt homage to the power of nature and art by one of the world's most beloved authors. Maria lives in a remote village in Burgundy, where she learns that she has a gift for communicating with nature. Hundreds of miles away in Italy, Clara discovers that she possesses a stunning musical genius and is sent from the countryside to Rome to develop her preternatural abilities. Barbery's The Life of the Elves tells the story of two children whose extraordinary talents will bring them into contact with magical worlds and malevolent forces. If, against all odds, they can be brought together, their meeting may shape the course of history. Seven years after the publication of her international bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery returns with a lyrical novel about the quest for enchantment in a world that seems to have forgotten such a thing ever existed. With its cast of unforgettable characters, each fighting to preserve a sense of enchantment, The Life of the Elves is a poetic meditation on art, nature, dreams, and the role of the imagination.
Publisher: New York, NY : Europa Editions, 2016.
ISBN: 9781922253460
Characteristics: 1 online resource.
Additional Contributors: Anderson, Alison - Translator

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Apr 06, 2017

This is one of the most beautifully written, thoughtful, and moving books I have every read on the subject of the well-being of Earth and all its denizens. There is a strong belief running throughout the book that humans need to stay connected to Earth: our ability to survive, to experience grace, contemplation, health and healing and especially, love depends upon it (p 160). As reader/commenter julieubrown notes, reading this in small doses may help the reader absorb the meaning and feel the beauty in the story. I also checked about a sequel but the publisher’s representative said in January that it is still not close to publication.

Sep 12, 2016

My Goodreads review:

Aug 18, 2016

Such lovely writing, yet I couldn't possibly tell you what this book was about. An allegory of terrorism and ecological destruction perhaps?

Read this book anyway. Read it line by gorgeous line. At first, I read a paragraph or two at a time at bedtime, a lovely way to fall asleep. Then, I felt the need to finish when I had only twenty pages to go and was so much less satisfied.

There's a sequel coming. I plan to read it a paragraph at a time to find the lyrical patterns in single lines.

While beautifully written, the magical environment and mystical characters were not appealing and I could not get past page 60. It felt like reading a prolonged parable, good vs evil with little insight into characters' motivation and humanity.

Mar 08, 2016

A very deep story. Hard to follow the story. In fact, I still did not understand the entire story at the end.

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