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Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this facade lies the real Renee: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renee lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever. By turn moving and hilarious, this unusual novel became the top-selling book in France in 2007 with sales of over 900,000 copies to-date.

Book Reviews

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
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4.3 / 5
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November 1st, 2014
A great story that’s very clever and celebrates a love of language. The tight parallels between the narrators’ stories are particularly special.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Fascinating, compelling and inspirational
October 31st, 2014
I am in love with this book! The Elegance of the Hedgehog, written by Muriel Barbery. It was so compelling and captivating, hence why it took me longer than usual to read. After every page I had to pause for reflection. Muriel draws you into the character’s world; you are completely consumed by them.
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1 review
May 8th, 2014
You'll need your dictionary but this visionary book is well worth the effort
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