Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renee lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery is a thought provoking book on many levels and, rightfully so, a popular Book Club title. The characters are endearing in their efforts to hide their high intelligence and I must admit that some of the words used were lost on my knowledge of grammar and vocabulary! Listening to this title on audio book whilst driving made the words hard to look up, but for a wordsmith like our Deb (the Editor of this blog, CCLC's Pages and Audiobook Next Reads newsletter), it would have her revelling in its complexity. Despite the book's sesquipedalian nature (that one did require looking up!), I found the exploration of concepts and the light humor that is woven through the book a joy to read. The narration by Barbara Rosenblat and Cassandra Morris brilliant. A definite recommendation.
ED: The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a novel by the French novelist and professor of philosophy Muriel Barbery (translated from the French by Alison Anderson). First released in August 2006 by Gallimard, the novel became a publishing success in France the following year, selling over a million copies. It has been translated into several languages, and published in a number of countries outside France, including the United Kingdom and the United States, attracting critical praise for both the work and its author.
- Thanks Monique, ha ha, and I thought sesquipedalian meant having 70 legs or something! :o) It's now definitely on my To Read/Listen list!