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. From the Trade Paperback edition.