The Elegance of the HedgehogBook - 2008
Then there's Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.
Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma's trust and to see through Renée's timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.
From Library Staff
CRRL_MegBingham Aug 03, 2017
In an elegant Paris apartment building, two introverts live in a world where they are not accepted. When both find solace with a wealthy Japanese businessman named Ozu, their lives change and their quiet natures begins to bloom beautifully.
CRRL_WebEditors Dec 09, 2013
“Renée Michel, 54 and widowed, is the stolid concierge in an elegant Paris hôtel particulier. Though short, ugly, and plump, Renée has, as she says, always been poor, but she has a secret: she's a ferocious autodidact who's better versed in literature and the arts than any of the building's snobb... Read More »
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"They didn't recognize me," I say.
I come to a halt in the middle of the sidewalk, completely flabbergasted.
"They didn't recognize me," I repeat.
He stops in turn, my hand still on his arm.
"It is because they have never seen you," he says. "I would recognize you anywhere."
[C]athedrals have always aroused in me the sensation of extreme light-headedness one often feels in the presence of man-made tributes to the glory of something that does not exist … [and] tested to the extreme my ability to believe that so much intelligence could have gone to serve so futile an undertaking.
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