The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – book review

Smart, funny profound book – the bestseller of Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L’élégance du hérisson) by Muriel Barbery is one of the most intellectual, funniest and brilliant books I’ve ever read! The book is a bestseller and it’s translated into many languages for a reason! A movie based on the book has been also released.

I got it as a present from one of my friends (in French, of course, reading a book in its original version is always the best!) and I started reading it immediately. I just couldn’t stop! The story is about Renée, a 54-years old concierge, living in an aristocratic building in Paris and pretending to be the absolute cliché of a typical French concierge.

But in reality, Renée is very intelligent and she absorbs classics and philosophical readings with voracity every day. Her existence is considered being boring until the day, a Japanese gentleman moves into her building and invites her for a dinner. They have a real ”click” and share the same passion for art, cinema, literature and enjoy each other’s company at the fullest.

A second layer exists in the book and is about a 12-years old girl – Paloma, who is very smart and sensitive and who is determined to commit a suicide. She has a diary and puts in writing all her thoughts as well as writes the date and the way she will commit her own suicide. Paloma and Renée discover by accident that they both share the same love for cats and that’s how they start to talk to each other.

Here comes the moment to tell you the end, but I won’t reveal it so you can come to the end of the book yourself!

Enjoy your time with The Elegance of the Hedgehog over a cup of thee!

Thanks for reading!


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