It’s been a very trying week, lots of midwife appointments and days filled with pain I’m surprised I found the time to finish my book challenge this week but I am nothing if not determined to succeed in everything I set out to do. This week’s book challenge was, The Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, a book that was given to me as a birthday present one year. It was interesting to read as it is something I would not have bought for myself.
The story takes place in Paris at a grand Parisian apartment building and is told in first person by two characters: Renee, the concierge of the apartment, and twelve-year-old Paloma Josse, who has decided to commit suicide on her thirteenth birthday. Two similar characters in opinions and their ways of thinking of the world, living in the same space for years yet never knowing much about the others existence. That is until now when the death of one the residents brings a new owner to the apartment and a reason to carry on living for both characters.
I like how Barbery switches between the two characters, and didn’t just centre the story on one character’s viewpoint. It makes me feel more emotionally attached to each character seeing how they view this chocolate box that is the Parisian world they live in. Renee does not think much of herself and plays dumb to her residents so they will think of her as only a simple concierge. She doesn’t want them to think she has a brain and indulges in art and culture. I felt like I could relate to her as there are times when I play dumb to people just for the sake of it. I don’t want people to pay too much attention to me and try to go about my life invisibly when it suits me to do so. Paloma does exactly the same. She is intelligent beyond her years but keeps her grades steady at school so no one will notice. She likes to hide from her family and be left alone. Paloma sees that there is much beauty in the world but thinks it’s best to end her life at a point before she can become too disappointed. It is truly fascinating to read about why these two characters hide who they are and makes you question your own existence.
I won’t tell you what happens in the end but it shocked me and made me shout out “NO!” Barbery brings you into these two character’s lives, you feel like you have known them for years and then just when you are getting comfortable BAM! She turns everything upside down.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something different to read. It took me a while to get into it, not to mention a dictionary at times with some of the words but once I was in, I truly enjoyed the company.
This week’s book challenge is The Pregnancy And Baby Book, by A Collection Of People. My parents gave me this book to help with the pregnancy and I think it’s about time I read it as Cabbit is due on the 17th! Rob has already read it and loved it.
Time to eat a doughnut and go back to being pregnant!