Monday, August 10, 2009

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

This is another Jackie recommendation. It is a story of the inhabitants of an upscale Paris apartment complex, with the focus being the concierge and one of the families that includes a younger daughter who does not fit in with the rest of her family. The concierge and the little girl have inner lives unapparent to the disinterested rest of the complex inhabitants. A new apartment occupant changes the dynamics of the complex and brings out the inner lives of the concierge and the girl.

This is simple story telling in the vein of "To Kill A Mockingbird" but with a broader consideration of art and the meaning of life done without pretension. The concierge contemplates the point of art and philosophy as well and as concisely as anything I've encountered while making it a part of the story rather than the point of the story. I should have had a hi lighter in hand to mark those portions bearing repeating but it would have taken away from just reading a truly lovely story that I did not want to end.

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