The Elegance Of The Hedgehog


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Renée is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this façade lies the real Renée: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renée lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.

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Author by Muriel Barbery
Genre eBook Fiction
Read Book 320
ISBN Number 9781908313584

The Elegance Of The Hedgehog


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The lives of fifty-four-year-old concierge Rene Michel and extremely bright, suicidal twelve-year-old Paloma Josse are transformed by the arrival of a new tenant, Kakuro Ozu.

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Author by Muriel Barbery
Genre eBook Apartment concierges
Read Book 320
ISBN Number 1906040184

The Elegance Of The Hedgehog


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A New York Times Bestseller We are in an elegant hôtel particulier in the center of Paris. Renée, the building's concierge, is short, ugly, and plump. She has bunions on her feet. She is cantankerous and addicted to television soaps. Her only genuine attachment is to her cat, Leo. In short, she is everything society expects from a concierge at a bourgeois building in a posh Parisian neighborhood. But Renée has a secret: she is a ferocious autodidact who furtively devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With biting humor she scrutinizes the lives of the building's tenants—her inferiors in every way except that of material wealth. Then there's Paloma, a super-smart twelve-year-old and the youngest daughter of the Josses, who live on the fifth floor. Talented, precocious, and startingly lucid, she has come to terms with life's seeming futility and has decided to end her own on the day of her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue hiding her extraordinary intelligence behind a mask of mediocrity, acting the part of an average pre-teen high on pop subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter. Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma's trust and to see through Renée's timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

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Author by Muriel Barbery
Genre eBook Fiction
Read Book 336
ISBN Number 1609450132

A Strange Country


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From the author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which spent 54 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, this literary fantasy is for fans of Atwood, Ishiguro and David Mitchell.

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Author by Muriel Barbery
Genre eBook Fiction
Read Book 336
ISBN Number 9781922268983

The Gourmet


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A great food critic who can make or destroy the reputation of a chef with a stroke of his pen, Pierre Arthens faces his imminent death by trying to recall the one perfect flavor he sampled in his youth, a flavor that he believes forms the ultimate truth of his life.

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Author by Muriel Barbery
Genre eBook Food critics
Read Book 144
ISBN Number 1906040265

Gourmet Rhapsody


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A great food critic who can make or destroy the reputation of a chef with a stroke of his pen, Pierre Arthens faces his imminent death by trying to recall the one perfect flavor he sampled in his youth, a flavor that he believes forms the ultimate truth of his life.

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Author by Muriel Barbery
Genre eBook Fiction
Read Book 156
ISBN Number 1933372958

The Melody


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From the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Harvest, Quarantine, and Being Dead, a tender new novel about music, lost love, and the way barely whispered fears and desires push their way into the light. Alfred Busi lives alone in his villa overlooking the waves, with only his trusted piano for company. Famed in his town for his music and songs, he is mourning the recent death of his wife and quietly living out his days--occasionally performing the classics in small venues, though never in the stadiums he could fill when in his prime. On the night before receiving his town's highest honour, Busi is wrested from his bed by noises in his courtyard, and then stunned by an attacking intruder. His hands and neck are scratched, and his face is bitten. Busi can't say what it was that he encountered, exactly, but he feels his assailant was neither man nor animal. The attack sets off a chain of events that will cast a shadow on Busi's career, imperil his home, and alter the fabric of his town. Busi's own account of what happened is embellished to fan the flames of old rumour--of an ancient race of people living in the surrounding forest--and to spark new controversy: something must finally be done about the town's poor, the feral vegabonds whose numbers have been growing. Meanwhile Busi, weathering a media storm, must come to terms with his wife's death and decide whether to sing one last time. The Melody is a story about grief and aging, about reputation and its loss, and the peculiar way myth seeps into real life. In trademark crystalline prose, Jim Crace portrays a man taking stock of his life and looking into an uncertain future, all while bearing witness to a community in the throes of great change--with echoes of today's most pressing social questions.

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Author by Jim Crace
Genre eBook Fiction
Read Book 272
ISBN Number 9780735235229

The Life Of Elves


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A moving and deeply felt homage to the power of nature and art by one of the world's most beloved authors. Do two young girls have the power to change the world? Maria, raised by powerful older women, lives in a remote village in Burgundy, where she discovers her gift of clairvoyance, of healing and of communicating with nature. Hundreds of miles away in Italy, Clara discovers her musical genius and is sent from the countryside to Rome to nurture her extraordinary abilities. Who are the mysterious elves? Will they succeed in training the girls for their higher purpose in the face of an impending war? Barbery's The Life of Elves is the story of two children whose amazing talents will bring them into contact with magical worlds and malevolent forces. If, against all odds, they can be brought together, their meeting may shape the course of history. Seven years after the publication of her international bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery returns with an inspiring novel about finding the divine in the domestic, about the quest for enchantment. With its cast of unforgettable characters, each fighting to preserve the idea of an enhanced life, The Life of Elves is a luminous novel about art, nature, dreams, the power of love, and how imagination can help us build a bridge to a better future.

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Author by Muriel Barbery
Genre eBook Fiction
Read Book 272
ISBN Number 9781922253460

Exam Prep For The Elegance Of The Hedgehog


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The Cleaner Of Chartres


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“If you enjoy the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald, James Salter…you should be reading Vickers.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World There is something very special about Agnès Morel. A quiet presence in the small French town of Chartres, she can usually be found cleaning the famed medieval cathedral or doing odd jobs for the townspeople. No one knows where she came from or why. Not diffident Abbé Paul, nor lonely Professor Jones, nor even Alain Fleury, whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes. She has transformed all their lives in her own subtle way, yet no one suspects the dark secret Agnès is hiding. Then an accidental encounter dredges up the specter of her past, and the nasty meddling of town gossips forces Agnès to confront her tragic history and the violent act that haunts it.

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Author by Salley Vickers
Genre eBook Fiction
Read Book 304
ISBN Number 9781101599631