The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
Adult Fiction, audiobook
This is a deceptive book. The back cover blurb makes it sound like an off-beat, sarcastic romp through a posh Parisian neighborhood, but the first half of the book reads more like the philosophical musings of a middle-aged, largely solitary autodidact and a twelve-year-old child too serious for her years. And the ending … well, you’ll have to find out about the ending on your own, but suffice it to say: this book has a trick up its sleeve.
But as the plot slowly unfolds, you grow to care for Renèe and Paloma and the surprising people in their lives – especially the ones who see through the outer shell of the inconspicuous among us and recognize the person beneath.
The book is pleasantly read by the quietly sarcastic voice of Barbara Rosenblat as Renèe and the clear, direct voice of Cassandra Morris as Paloma.