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Yes, yes, yes to Hedgehog. This is a quietly elegant and insightful novel with fine characterizations. Cunning in its subtlety. I think you would enjoy it.


I have read The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I thought it was lovely, and the clarity of the French writing went very nicely with the simplicity of the Japanese aesthetics in the book. It was very very nearly in my top three fiction books of the year.

The Literary Stew

I loved the Elegance of the Hedgehog. It's one of my best reads of 2009 and you can read a short review on it in a post I'm doing next week. Yes, reactions were quite mixed. I have friends who hated it. I thought it was a charming novel.

Simon (Savidge Reads)

I haven't read The Elegance... but I do so want to, am not sure am going to fit it in in the last few weeks of 2009 but I might just try!

Claire (Paperback Reader)

I loved Elegance and reviewed it back in May, I think; it is definitely one of my top reads of 2009. Highly recommended for its charm, elegance and philosophy.


I struggled with Elegance at first, perhaps because it wasn't what I expected. But the more I read, the more I loved it.


I haven't read Hedgehog yet, but my mother loved it. She said that she wasn't pleased with the ending, though. I was thinking of reading her copy of it while I visit her for the holidays.

Julie Fredericksen

I have not read either book, but "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" has been on my Wish List. Now I will have to add "A Disobedient Girl". Thanks to you, my list keeps getting longer and longer! My daughter is the only one who looks at my wish list, and I have already told her the book I most want to read for Christmas is: "Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver. Now I have heard that it is getting mixed reviews too. Groan!

Simon T

Not read Elegance... yet, but have admired the title from afar, and it is on its way to me as we speak!

By the by, I'm dying to know what you thought of The True Deceiver...?


I really quite enjoyed Elegance of the Hedgehog - well, what I mean is, some of it took my breath away, I felt like it was talking directly to me. At other times it seemed to skip over my head completely - but I didn't like it any less for that. It certainly seemd to divide readers but I would recommend you read it ...

Ruth M.

Hedgehog grew on me... slow at first, a little heavy going, but lacquering and layering until I couldn't put it down. It sings!

Ru Freeman

Oh, dear. Can I compete with The Elegance? Thanks for the post - I hope you get some feedback. Just FYI, I will be in London first week of February for book-launch related events which includes meeting with some of the book groups. The novel comes out there in January.

Mary Akers

A Disobedient Girl is gorgeously written with lush and heartbreaking details. I'm still finishing it, but every moment with the book has held me in its thrall.


I think you will like The Elegance of the Hedgehog - I thought it was quite special. Quite special.


I enjoyed E of the H, mostly for its foreignness. There were sections that I skimmed rapidly (er. . . skipped?) but since part of the book seems to emphasize the uniqueness of individual taste, I felt that was really a very appropriate response! I did find it hard to decide if various friends would like it, and ended up not taking the risk of giving it to anyone for Christmas. It's an "I'm interested in what you think" book for me!


I absolutely loved the Elegance of the Hedgehog - it has been a joy to read. Thanks for including it here - I would never have found it otherwise. It's the book of 2009 for me. Finding beauty in accurate grammar - yes!!

I noticed a quote from 'War & Peace' had the English translation & then the French one was included too:
'Everything comes at its appointed time.
Tout vient a son heure pour qui sait attendre.'

I thought the French had a slightly different nuance and I liked it. It made me wonder what we lose in reading a translation, although I have doubts that I would manage the complete book in French!

Sara Hartman

A Disobedient Girl was wonderful! I loved the richness and subtleties of the women's stories, the fascinating details of Sri Lankan life, and the complexities of the lives of women from very different backgrounds in the same locale, all of which pulled me in deeper and deeper as I read! Wonderful to lose myself in such a book!


A Disobedient Girl is a beautiful work that’s accessible but nuanced—I highly recommend it. The Sri Lankan backdrop informs the characters and conflicts, as any setting would, but really it’s a story about identity and longing, which know no geographic or political borders. Read it for its relatable, complex characters, not for a history lesson.


I'm really looking forward to reading it, Ru, and even moreso in the light of the very positive comments which you may have seen below.

a.p. phillips

A Disobedient Girl opens up a part of the world most of us probably little understand. For that alone, it's worth reading. But there's more. Beautifully described landscapes are set against - and provide the backdrop for - the course of the story. The narrative of choice and consequence are not so much epoch in nature as they are woven into everyday Sri Lankan life, custom and culture. This makes both that much more tragic. Together, story and setting create a kind of balance which parallels the two principal characters and how their lives ultimately intersect. A great read!


I really enjoyed Elegance of the Hedgehog. It is slow moving, but you get in the minds of the main characters and I grew a very strong affection for Paloma and Renee. It is a book I could see myself reading for a second time and gaining even more from it.

Julie Fredericksen

Having seen "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" mentioned here and several other places, I put it on my Wish List. I purchased it yesterday with my Christmas gift card. I have read about 100 pages and am thoroughly enjoying it. I was kind of scared off by some reviews that said it is too intellectual, but I find it to be not too difficult. It is one of those books that I am marking with sticky notes for passages that deeply touch me.

PS - I have already read Kristen's gift, "The Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver, and highly recommend it.

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