The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Paloma and Renee hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot appreciate them. They discover a kindred soul when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. He is able to gain Paloma’s trust and to see through Renee’s disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.