les miserables by victor hugo

My ambition for books this year is massive. Thankfully, I have a familiarity with the basic plot.

Jean Valjean is a man who stole a loaf of bread and wound up in prison for nineteen years. Upon his release, he is helped by a bishop whom he repays by stealing his silver. The bishop lies to keep Valjean out of prison and he vows to change his life. Throughout his life, he helps an unwed mother, Fantine, and her child, Cosette, all while escaping the evil Inspector Javert.

While a beast to read, I’m glad I did. Again, I’m familiar with the story from the musical but it was very interesting to delve deeper into the characters. I loved learning more about Fantine’s heartbreaking past and also about Marius and his father. And there were times I wasn’t all that fond of Valjean, but truly the Thenardiers were horrific. They’re usually comedic in the musical but here they were awful through and through. There were some things that could have been edited down but it really is a magnificent story.

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