The Elegance Of The Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery

This book was not an easy read for me. I read it a few years ago after a recommendation from a good friend. Thank you Philip Butcher (RIP). ]

I used Wikipedia and the Dictionary often. I started to give up on it, but kept on plugging. I’m so glad I did. Not only did I learn a lot from this book that I didn’t know, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

Renee’ is a chubby, cranky concierge in an elegant apartment building in the middle of Paris. She witnesses everyday, the opulent lifestyles of the residences. She goes about her business begrudgingly. What nobody knows is that Renee’ is an autodidact who loves all the good things in life and is well versed on same.

Then there’s Paloma, a 12 year old genius who lives in the apartments with her father who is a Parliamentarian . She has a grisly plan. She will end her life on the 16th of June, which will be her 16th birthday. Until that date, she will continue on with her life as usual.

Next is the wealthy Japanese gentleman, Mr. Ozu. He manages to connect with both Paloma and Renee’. I will end my review here so as not to give away too much in case anyone wants to read it.

This book was at time funny and sometimes sad. IMHO, Mr. Ozu was the least credible.

Muriel Barbery (born 28 May 1969) is a French novelist and professor of philosophy.

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