The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery Two women grapple with big ideas. Both of them value their privacy very highly. Neither of them think very highly of most of the people they encounter in their daily lives. Both of them are struggling for autonomy, and both of them crave human affection and interaction, although neither of them really seems to realize it. They happen to live in the same building, but they are from different social strata, and they are from different generations.

Watching these two character examine their own convictions and assumptions, experience grand epiphanies and adjust to their worlds as their opinions and relationships change is a wholly pleasant experience. I was disappointed in the ending, because it seemed to confirm one of the basic assumptions that the character had just outgrown, an assumption that the author seemed to be targeting as wrong. I enjoyed every page up until that point, and I fell in love with the characters, who seemed very real and complicated. I will read this again.