I highly recommend that you read The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry. It is a lovely book, full of beautiful language and likable characters. Anyone who has ever felt like an alien (everyone? just me?) will see themselves reflected in Madame Michel and Paloma and may be inspired, like our protagonists, to break free from self-imposed isolation and censorship.

The power of friendship, love and connection is explored by Barberry. We see, through the lens that she has set for us, that we become fully ourselves when in contact with a cherished friend. In isolation one can dream, create and learn. But the fruit of these labors has less meaning if not shared, the product impoverished by loneliness. Love makes us bigger.

When choosing a novel, I almost always chose a story of risk and adventure. At first glance this book doesn’t fit that profile, but the bravery of the two narrators is adventure of the most personal kind: a life-changing internal revolution.