Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat If you want to join in grab your current read, flick to a random page, select two sentences (without spoilers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments of Books and a Beat.
This week my teaser comes from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. This is my current real life book club read and I have to admit I’m finding it a bit of a struggle. There’s a lot of philosophy, something I know very little about, so I’m not sure I will actually manage to finish it. As book club is tomorrow lunchtime, and I’m currently on page 65, I’m definitely up against it.
Thus the concierge couple, as served by the metaphor of their totemic poodle, seems to be utterly devoid of such passions as love and desire and, like their totem, destined to remain ugly, stupid, submissive and boastful. If, in certain novels, princes fall in love with working-class lasses, and princesses with galley slaves, between two concierges, even of the opposite sex, there is never any romance of the type that others experience and that might someday make a worthy story.
~ page 42, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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 facade 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.
Happy reading everyone.