Of course, I did read this book in French, L’élégance du hérisson and I absolutely loved it. I had read this author’s first novel (The Gourmet/Une gourmandise) and was not impressed, but this one is definitely a wow. The story is set in Paris and is told through two intertwined journals by a young girl and her building’s concierge who is in her mid-fifties. They both have a very critical outlook on what is going on around them, but also describe some of the people they encounter with a great deal of humor and tenderness. Other themes explored in the book: class differences, the meaning of education, the difference between formal education and real intelligence, the possibility of love in later life, the nature and possibility of beauty in the world, the management of face and impressions, the true nature of cats, and many others.
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog (wantoncreation.wordpress.com)
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (sagirlwrite.wordpress.com)