In this enchanting novel, Anne Hebert creates a shimmering fable that captivates and dazzles with its simple beauty. While growing up, Clara is surrounded by her father Aurelien's unrelenting silence and the sounds of the lonely countryside. Then Mademoiselle, the village teacher, arrives to take her to school and the world seems to open up before her eyes -- only to close in again later. When Clara is fifteen the English lieutenant suddenly appears, having escaped the hell of the London blitz, and Clara's peaceful countryside is never the same. The power of silence and generosity pervade this gentle story, along with the beauty of the earth in harmony with humanity.