The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
In writing this book review, I feel like a four-year-old being asked to write War and Peace, or some other great classic. There is no way I can capture the beauty, poetry, and, indeed, elegance of Barbery’s book. Using my words to describe this book feels almost like a travesty; to use my words to describe The Elegance of the Hedgehog, an insult.
At first, this book seemed too pretentious and too high-brow for my liking, but that’s because I hadn’t scratched the surface, and looked beyond (as Paloma says we do so often with people). After that initial hesitation, I fell headfirst in love with this book. The language is gorgeous; the emotions real and raw. I have not read a book that has moved me to both wonder and despair.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog examines what it is to be human. The characters are complex, and their observations are heartbreaking. I could go on, but the book speaks for itself, so I urge you to read it if you are looking for a contemplative and beautiful read.