Although the group was a small one, there was considerable discussion regarding The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Most of us agreed that the first 100 pages or so dragged. The author devoted those pages to espousing a number of philosophical beliefs. I was not surprised to learn that Muriel Barberry was once a philosophy teacher. Also, philosophy is still a compulsory subject in France where this book sold over 1 million copies.
I was intrigued by the stories of the two women in the book: Renee Michel, a 54-year old concierge and Paloma Josse, the precocious 12-year old daughter of one of the most bourgeois families in the building. Both women downplayed their intelligence and maintained very low profiles. All that changed with the arrival of Kakuro, a wealthy, cultured Japanese man who takes an interest in the two women.
I enjoyed reading the last two-thirds of the book and was saddened by the ending. I don't know if I would pick up another one of Muriel Barberry's books, but I would enjoy seeing the film adaptation of The Elegance of the Hedgehog.