sometimes witty book reviews
Upon finishing The Elegance of the Hedgehog I set it down on my shelf, stepped back and just gazed at it. I love books, but this was an exception. Muriel Barbery invites the reader to rise to her book. Though not a difficult read per say, there are points where drifting off for a moment will require going back and reading again. The text however, remains very accessible through the clever shared narrative technique.
The exquisitely written protagonists create and expose intensely intriguing, introverted worlds. Renée (a middle-aged Parisien consierge) and Paloma (a tweenage rich-girl) both believe themselves exceedingly more well-informed than the rest of their world. Barbery artfully explores the broadening of worlds where a wider perspective was already though to exist. Paloma finds herself in the discovery of Renée’s secret world and almost vice versa. Both are ultimately two sides of a coin rolling places they never expected.
I attempted to define the subtext of Hedgehog for this post. But it can’t be done in so few words. This will be a text I read many times and look to for many life lessons, platitudes and right good laugh. For me in this first read, Barbery extols the virtues of beauty and change and beauty in change. Read it.