Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda

Strange as it is, some books don’t need plots.

Hunting and Gathering is a perfect example of a character-driven novel. Nothing really monumental or dramatic happens, and instead the story is supported entirely by the four main characters and the interactions in their daily lives. They are: Camille, a cleaning lady (or “cleaning operative”) who lives in a tiny apartment by herself and doesn’t eat; Philibert, an aristocrat lacking social skills who lives in Camille’s building; his roommate Franck, a temperamental but talented chef; and Franck’s grandmother, Paulette, an old woman terrified of being placed in a nursing home.

Gavalda’s writing style is simple and elegant, and her dialogue is amazingly well done. The ending of Hunting and Gathering is a little bit too well-wrapped up, but I didn’t mind. All in all, a lovely story.

Verdict: four out of five stars


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