Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
I'm not sure this is the best book to break my reading haitus.
I wanted to like it.
I wanted to love it.
I wanted to see the beauty and the elegance in this.
But, instead it felt as prickly as a porcupine - not a hedgehog.
The story takes place in Paris. Renee is the dumpy, invisible conceierge in an upscale apartment building. She is also a closet snob and incredibly intelligent. Her whole theory is that she grew up as a poor, ugly woman and that is what she will remain..no matter what.
The other member in the house is Paloma - a 12 year old who has decided to commit suicide before 13. She believes that the world is a sad and unhopeful place one that she doesn't want to experience as an adult. But, she is also a very intelligent girl who decides to look for hope jsut to mae very sure that she is making the right decision.
The story follows these two women through a period of time. Then a new tenant moves in - Mr. Ozu a Japanese gentleman. Life in the building changes and the circles of these two intersect with Mr. Ozu.
The basic story is appealing and interesting - but there is so much other narrative about art and beauty and intelligence and blah blah blah...clearly I am not a part of the intelligent society.
So - I found myself skimming and scooting hoping for the story to open up and draw me in. Instead I just kept plodding along until it ended. I wanted to like it. I wanted to be in the know...but I've decided this proves that I am really not in the know!