January 2nd DATE - World Book 13 -The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

For January, we are going to extend our vacation in France and head a little farther North from Provence to big city Paris. I have been wanting to read this book since hearing about it a few years ago, and our journey around the world provides the perfect opportunity!


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.

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  • Anna

    Sorry, work has piled up but I'll be there in spirit!

    January 8, 2014

    • Anna

      Shhh they don't like outsiders to know! At least I have access to social media...

      1 · January 10, 2014

    • Michelle

      Those kidnappers can be so sweet sometimes.

      January 10, 2014

  • Deepa

    One of the more engaging discussions in recent memory! Thanks to all who attended, and please, don't forget to vote for April's book in the poll.

    1 · January 10, 2014

  • Alan B.

    Zen and the Art of Hedgehog Maintenance.

    January 2, 2014

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