I'm dying. There's no use hoping I'll live or telling myself, Keep going, it's only a small wound. There's too much blood on the ground. I'm going to die in this street.
Eponine has always been one of my favorite characters from Les Miserables. I've always felt sympathy for her. And so I was quite excited to see that Susan Fletcher has written Eponine's story in her novel, A Little In Love.
Is an understanding--an appreciation, a love--for the novel Les Miserables a must for picking this one up? I wouldn't say it's a must. I wouldn't want to limit the audience for this one. Certainly this book will mean more to the reader who has at least watched one of the movie adaptations (though I'm not sure all movie adaptations even have Eponine's character? I do not care for the musical, for the most part, but this song gets me every time.*) But the most enthusiastic fan may just be the reader who has read Victor Hugo's Les Miserables--and unabridged at that! But any reader who is drawn to historical fiction set in nineteenth century France will find this of interest.
The framework of this one does make sense. I'm not always a big fan of stories told within a framework. But it is wisely done in this one. The narrator--Eponine herself--is not being melodramatic. She is, in fact, dying. And in a way, the whole book is a flashback showing us moments in her life that have led up to this moment--this heroic, tragic, bittersweet moment. This adaptation does not change the ultimate outcome.
Is it faithful to Victor Hugo's novel? Yes, for the most part. I do think a few details are changed along the way. And I do think plenty has been added, filled out, if you will. The characters we meet in A Little in Love are fleshed out.
So did I like it? love it? I really enjoyed it. It is one I read all at once--like a treat. I admit that I'm probably the ideal reader for this one since Les Miserables is one of my most favorite, favorite books of all time. My 2014 review. My 2013 review.
*I think I fell in love with this song a full decade before ever picking up the novel. Why? Well, it's one that skaters really, really, really LOVE to skate to.
- Katarina Witt
- Midori Ito
- Michelle Kwan
- Caroline Zhang
- Ekaterina Gordeeva (I Dreamed A Dream, Not On My Own, but too beautiful not to share)
- Quing Pang & Jian Tong (I Dreamed A Dream, one of my favorite pairs; and another routine from several years earlier)
- Yuna Kim