A Strange Country
The magical world of Muriel Barbery’s latest book, A Strange Country is so intriguing, you may find yourself hours into the novel and feel like no time has passed at all.
Broken into three separate sections set in different times, the plot returns readers to the world of Barbery’s previous book, The life of the Elves. But, this novel is highly readable even if you aren’t familiar with the prior book.
In A Strange Country soldiers Alejandro and Jesus have been fighting a war for six years when they meet an elf named Petrus who takes them to his homeland of Nanzen. It is filled with elves and good wine and wonder, but the people there are also suffering as their land, too, is in crisis.
The novel could be read as an allegory for the challenges that face our modern world, from the controversy surrounding our borders to climate change. Or, it may be seen as a strange and poetic fantasy similar to the work of Tolkien. In either case, it is a beautiful book about what it means to be brave and how we all must work to save ourselves and each other.
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