Today I finished reading one of the classics, ‘Les Miserables’, written by the great dramatist and writer, Victor Hugo. This book has been a wonderful read. Even though it is some 600 pages long, it is very much able to keep a reader hooked.
The novel is set in
at the time around the French Revolution. The protagonist, Jean Valjean, a poor farm labourer, steals a loaf of bread to feed his hungry family but instead gets caught and is sent to jail. He undergoes a lot of trauma, social boycott and misery in life and becomes more of an emotionless robot. After he gets out 19 years later (his sentence is increased after three failed escape attempts), he is transformed into a kind man by a noble bishop who gives his brazen soul a new lease of life. Valjean sets out to make something of himself and eventually becomes the mayor of a city. At a point of time, he faces a moral dilemma- whether to save a convict who is mistaken for Jean Valjean by disclosing his reality or to continue with his respectable and good life. Finally he takes the best decision. A parallel track also runs, that of an orphan lady called Fantine and her illegitimate child Cossette who grows up to be an integral part of the story. The plot is very well woven and is not that simple. How the lives of Valjean, Fantine and Cossette cross and what happens afterwards when Cossette falls in love with a handsome lawyer, Marius in the backdrop of the famous French Revolution form the climax of the novel. It has become one of my most favorite books from now. France
Another prominent thing that you will notice is the beauty of the language and the descriptions of untold emotions. The ending made me cry and I actually felt a tiny jolt somewhere deep inside.
Les Misreables is a book worth reading!