The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L’élegance du Hérisson) by Muriel Barbery

2967752Back with a book review!! This post will be in English, but I actually read this book in French! This was part of the required reading in order to explore le roman français, but I really enjoyed it! I actually read it a few years ago in English, so reading it in French lent a whole new perspective and experience.

Quick synopsis:

The story revolves around three characters: Renée, the concierge; Paloma, a 12 year old girl living in 7 rue de Grenelle; and Kakuro, the new tenant in the building. Renée and Paloma are both extremely intelligent, and are struggling to see the beauty and the meaning of life, trapped in their respective social classes. Kakuro comes along and helps them discover what it really means to live and to see others.

I have to say, if you can read this book in French, it will enhance the experience 200%. French is just more beautiful than English~~it adds another dimension and feeling to the words. (Language is such a marvelous thing!)

Whatever language you read this in, it speaks profoundly about class, identity, cultural capital, and why we feel reluctant to step out of our boundaries and show our true selves. It’s definitely one of my favorite books, and I love it so much I think I’m going to buy the English version (I already have the French version). Which says a lot, because I never buy books.

 

Happy reading!

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