Monday, October 11, 2010

Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery

Rene, the unattractive widowed concierge of a Parisian apartment. A deep thinker and philosopher, she hides this from the residents she has lived with for 27 years. Until Paloma, the 12 year old daughter of a resident family discovers her secret. Almost at the same time a new resident, Mr Ozu , also finds out the depth of her intellect.

Paloma and Rene's narrative voices are quite distinct and but they are linked by their common bond of wanting to remain apart from those around them. While some critics think that these voices are artificial and unrealistic, I enjoyed the contrasting stream of consciousness style.

And I was surprised by the ending!

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