July, 2013: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

(Book #39) Susan hosted this gathering and we welcomed a new member, Chris, a friend of Geri’s. In honor of Renee and Kakuro’s first dinner together, we dined on Japanese food, Gyoza or dumplings, a noodle dish, Yakisoba maybe? and an assortment of sushi.

The book discussion included some minor disagreement but everyone’s favorite chapter was the description of Renee going to the movie with her dying husband and we all agreed the ending was unnecessary. Sharon felt it was well written, while Susan said it didn’t really capture her attention until Kakuro moves in. I may have been the toughest critic as is noted in the Goodreads review here:

After the first few chapters I screamed “Pretentious!” causing great alarm among my pets (none of whom are named after Tolstoy or his characters.) Because it is one of our book club reads, however, I felt I must push on. There were a few moments, somewhere in the middle, when I responded positively, but that was all over when one of the two narrators spent a page deciding how to ask to use the toilet. I found the backstory of the concierge and its impact on her life to be more turn of the 20th century than 21st, and really, Spoiler Alert, that ending?