Gustine's Reviews > The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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's review
Aug 05, 2009

it was ok

Couldn't decide between 2 or 3 stars. There were problems with this book up until the end--an end that was powerful and sad and elegant. But I'm not sure it's worth reading the whole thing just to get to the great ending.

The two main characters are a teenager and a middle-aged woman. The teenager is rather cliched, and the older woman's insistence on keeping her true personality a secret is completely mystifying (in an annoying way, not an intriguing way). There is also far too much self-conscious philosophizing throughout the book.

But the ending! Finally, with just 15 or so pages left, we finally understand the older woman's motives. Why couldn't this have been shared a hundred pages earlier, so that we could relate to her better?? And the tragic ending, which I won't reveal here, is so well done it almost redeemed the book.

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