Source: Personal Book
In short, this book is a must read. A compelling, fascinating and a brilliant read. When I first started the book, I thought it was a very "odd" book. Once I gave it some time, I thought it was hilarious and couldn’t put it down. The Elegance of the Hedgehog is an unusual book that focuses on philosophy, class and culture. I really enjoyed the characters. Mmd. Michel and Paloma were two of my favorite. It was very interesting to see their views on the world. They both seem to believe that everyone and everything had a role to play in life, and there is no way around it. A straight cut path that must never be changed. Mmd. Michel believes she is the concierge of the building and nothing more. She hides her intelligence because as a concierge she must fit into her stereotype and the overall hierarchy. Paloma is afraid to become an adult and plans to commit suicide before her 13th birthday. It seems that Paloma believes adults are tarnished. Her mother has been in therapy for ten years, and she clearly has issues with her father and sister. Life is about struture, and stereotypes. Paloma begins to drink tea rather than coffee, coffee is a nasty persons drink while tea is "elegant and enchanting." When Mr. Ozu comes to live in their building, Mmd. Michel is no longer able to hide. He has a suspicion that she is not merely a concierge, he believes her cat is named after Tolstoy and he begins to observe her. Eventually, Mmd. Michel gives in to her convictions. She comes out of her shell, and befriends Mr. Ozu. Mmd Michel's change brings out hope in young Paloma.
This book is a must read, it's entertaining and really makes readers think. A story of interior struggles. The structure of this book works really well, and keeps the readers entertained and stimulated. Each chapter reads like an essay, and Barbery has unquestionable talent. While it did seem strange to begin, it didn’t take me long to be completly absored and invested in the characters. This is a book I would love to reread.