Friday, June 14, 2013

The Elegance of HedgeHog (L'Élégance du hérisson)

It is hard for me to come to terms with the way this book ends. Nevertheless, this doesn't change the way I think about it. It's an excellent read.
A 54 year old, ugly, short concierge of a posh residence in Paris, and a 12 year old highly intelligent daughter of a rich family living in the same residence, each struggle to conform to what society expects of her. Each is unhappy with what it seems her fate.
Through out the book, independently, each ponders the social convention imposed upon them and philosophize on the possibility of change. There is hope for change. Jean Arthen the junkie, son of the prominent Paris food critic, turned his life around.
Their encounter happens half way through the book, and something so tender and sweet blossoms. It is two chapters back to back, "Sisters" and "Profound thought number 15", when the story peaks emotionally and leaves the reader thoroughly satisfied.
But the ending. Ugh the ending is harsh!  I want to believe in the power of "Camellias".

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