Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Renée is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building on the Left Bank. To the residents she is honest, reliable and uncultivated an ideal concierge. But Renée has a secret. Beneath this conventional façade she is passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her self-important employers.
Down in her lodge, Renée is resigned to living a lie; meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid a predictably bourgeois future, and plans to commit suicide on her thirteenth birthday. But the death of one of their privileged neighbours will bring dramatic change to number 7, Rue de Grenelle, altering the course of both their lives for ever.
By turns moving and hilarious, this unusual and insightful novel is now an international publishing sensation, with sales of over 10 million copies.
‘Resistance is futile… you might as well buy it before someone recommends it for your book group. Its charm will make you say yes’ – The Guardian ‘Clever, informative and moving … this is an admirable novel which deserves as wide a readership here as it had in France’ – The Observer ‘The novel wins over its fans with a life-affirming message, a generous portion of heart and Barbery’s frequently wicked sense of humor’ – Time Magazine
AUTHOR: Her first book, Une gourmandise, has been translated into twelve languages. She has been a philosophy teacher and lived in France, Japan and the Netherlands.