On the surface there are many unappealing things about this book; the title, the
main character, the plot, and at times even the setting. So why, one might ask,
has this French novel by Muriel Barbery been translated into a half-dozen
languages? Why has it parked itself at or near the top of France's sales charts
for 102 weeks since publication? Because this book about passion, indignation,
and a hopeless love of art "...has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside
she is covered in quills, a real fortress, but...on the inside, she has the same
simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature,
fiercely solitary - and terribly elegant."
When the reader arrives at 7, rue de Grenelle, all proverbial baggage must be left with the concierge at the door, and Renee Michel has been that lowly concierge for 27 years. Appearing as a ...
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