Mady's Reviews > The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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Jan 21, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: borrowed, 2011
Read from January 16 to 21, 2011

As part of the preparation for a short trip to Paris, I'm reading books taking place in the "city of light". On this one there's not many references to the city, but I did feel the city's environment (or am I being conditioned by what I already knew beforehand?).

I don't want to describe the story of this one, as I think that discovering it, page after page, is part of this novel's beauty. Having said that, I do want to mention that I loved the main characters. And of course, I had to have a soft spot for Manuela, the Portuguese cleaning lady - she represents the typical emigrant that went to France in the 70's, but her personality makes her a very unique one indeed!

There is some philosophising on this book, but not too much to make it (IMO) boring. However, I'm probably not intelligent enough to have been able to follow most of the theories explanations! ;) There is also some determinism/fate, in the way that you expect puzzle pieces to fit perfectly together, but it makes you wonder in the end.

I loved picking up this book and reading it, getting to know a bit more of the characters and wonder about their doings. I've realised that I would have loved to have been able to read this one in French and I had the urge to read more (? or actually, any!) French literature. In 2011 I'm gathering some courage to try to read my first book in French! :P

On a final note, I've realised that concierges are a key point to French society: in every book I've read on my little exploration of Paris they are always mentioned. On the other books, Renée's theory does apply ;)

Borrowed from the local R. library.

Quote: "I belong to the 8% of the world population who calm their apprehension by drowning it in numbers."

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