The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Renee Michel is a concierge in a building housing some of the most expensive apartments in Paris. On the surface she is a typical ignorant concierge. Deep inside, she is an intellectual of note. Elsewhere in the building Paloma Josse, all of 12 years old, sees no future in her predetermined life. When the owner of one of the apartments dies, and the flat is sold to the charming Kakuro Ozu, both their lives take a turn in another direction.
Filled with wonderful characters each and every part of the book joins to tell the most unique and beautiful story in the most sublime way. I have to mention that the translation from the original French is also perfect. I oftenn find that books translated from another language is not as enjoyable to read as an originally English book as often the English feels forced and rigid. This translation flows and I never had the feeling that English was not the language that the book was originally written in.
Sublime, quiet and absolutely beautiful, this touching read is my favorite this year and may well earn a place in my top 30 or so books.
Cat's opinion: a perfect 10/10