The "power of one" is often unavoidable. One is also the term used to designate a person's singularity. Popular slogans such as "One person, one vote" and "One for all and all for one" have become a part of our political landscape.
The idea of an 11 year-old from an affluent Parisian family who decides to commit suicide at age 12 because her "fishbowl" life is "not for her" does not strike me as funny, but it is a reigning conceit of Mona Achache's crowd-pleasing film The Hedgehog.
This is a small, intimate novel about an exceedingly well-educated concierge in a Paris apartment building and her relationships. Here are five reasons I think this book is essential reading for grown ups.