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The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery

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 façade lies the real Renée: 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, Renée 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.

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  • Sheila C

    Well, as is often the case, it doesn't take a popular book to make the most interesting discussion. This book got a lukewarm reception and in fact only one person finished it - the person who suggested it & even she was not at all enamoured of it. Perhaps we expected too much as the book has been phenomenally popular. But the discussion was quite serious and engaging. Afterwards, most of us stayed on an hour to eat and chat about life, the universe and everything.....

    August 15, 2012

  • Sue

    For info folks - this one is clearly popular! I've just reserved it via the Essex Libraries system and all copies across the county seem to be out or in transit + I am number 7 on the waiting list!

    June 20, 2012

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