Monday, December 7, 2009

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery

I have to say that I am loving Europa Edition books. Besides their cool covers, I've found some great little gems. I LOVED Margherita Dolce Vita, and enjoyed The Girl on the Via Flaminia. So a while back I went to the library and checked out Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog. It is originally written in French and has been translated into English.

I liked it.

The story revolves around the lives of a few people in an affluent apartment building in France. It flip flops narration between an insanely smart but suicidal young girl, Paloma, and Renée, the intelligent but frumpy concierge lady.

Both are very smart but hide what they are from the wealthy people around them. That all changes when a handsome and intelligent Japanese man moves in and helps them open up.

I really enjoyed both Paloma and Renée. Their transformations were what made the book. Sometimes overly smart kids can be a bit annoying in books and movies, but Paloma surprised me. Although she is contemplating suicide, it's not really because she's sad or depressed, but more about her own logical reasoning. But Renée was what made me like the book. Watching her open up and blossom was my favorite part.

It wasn't amazing but I liked it.

**Have you read any Europa Editions? If so, what did you think?

Also Reviewed by:
A Book Blog. Period.
Library Queue
She is Too Fond of Books
Five Borough Book Review
Caribou's Mom
Books I Done Read
Books, the Universe, and Everything
A Bookish Way of Life
The Boston Bibliophile
The Book Nest


  1. I really like the Europa books. I happened upon them by chance, but I'm glad I did. I read Troubling Love, and it was good. I want to read more.

  2. Ooh this one is on my Christmas list. I do hope Santa brings it. I have just picked up another book by her called The Gourmet. Can't wait to read it.

  3. I am looking forward to this book. glad u liked it as did so many others it seems.

  4. This is the only Europa Edition I've read, but I'll look for others - I agree with you about the eye-catching covers.

    Renee made the book for me, too. Thanks for linking to my review.

  5. hello amanda its dennis the vizsla dog hay wot??? the eleganse of the hedjhog???? wen i wuz a prizoner in there undergrownd lair for over a week i dont remember enny eleganse i just remember a lot of grubs and snayls wot i had to eet for dinner!!! i just find this hole buk thing verry confyoozing!!! ok bye

  6. I haven't even heard of these before but I just love the title!

  7. We're headed to France in the spring, so I will add this to my reading list :)

  8. I've heard a lot of good things about this book, I'm really going to have to check it out. Also, I'll have to look for the other Europa titles, I hadn't heard of them before.