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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Hunting and Gathering - Anna Gavalda

My friend Megan (who I used to TEACH in middle school and who's all grown up now!!!) loaned me this book saying it was one of her favorites. When I first started it, it was a little slow and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but I am so glad I trusted Megan and stuck with it because this turned out to be a beautiful story that I have already recommended to some of my friends! The focus of this story was on my favorite element: character. There are four very different characters in this book, most of whom really have nothing in common. Their lives become intermingled, however, and all become, really, the saviors of the others.

The story is set mostly in modern day Paris, and features Camille, a poor, anorexic young artist; Philibert, a wealthy young man with a terrible stuttering problem and a penchant for ancient history; Franck, an angry, wild young chef who loves motorcycles and women; and Paulette, Franck's grandmother who is not well. Besides the obvious relationship between Franck and his grandmother, these four characters come together in unusual ways to live together in a grand old apartment (I believe they said it was four or five thousand square feet!!). Without each other they are all floundering, but together these quirky characters have something magical, and it was so much fun to watch it unfold.

I read a review of this book today to see what someone else thought of it, and they mentioned that it was a daunting 500+ pages. I thought that was interesting, because I would have said it was more like 200-300 pages, as it flew by for me.

This book is recommended for adults who enjoy strong character development and is available at the Multnomah County Library.

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