Thursday, March 04, 2010
Some Are Meant To Be Savored!
I finished Les Miserables a few days ago, and I've been mourning ever since. I worked on Hugo's masterpiece for over a year. Yes, I said a year. On one hand it feels sort of pathetic to admit that it took me so long; however, at this stage of life it could not have taken any less time and still been enjoyed to the proper extent. As I told Tony, I had to have my wits about me to read this one. Somehow my wits have escaped me often during this past year of pregnancy, birth, and newborn bliss!
I love how in the course of this story, the different lives weave in and out of one another. Hugo takes time to show amazing depth and details of characters over the course of time. As in life, the characters change and grow and are faced with defining moments. The themes of redemption, forgiveness, and parental sacrifice change the careful reader and are as pertinent today as when this book was written. There were parts that I admittedly slogged slowly through. These were the painstakingly-detailed descriptions of battle. Great for learning about the French Revolution; not so great for this girl who doesn't care to know such details! These only last for a chapter or two at a time, however, and important details of the storyline ARE in there...only in short doses. The greatest reward of this book, for me, was the last three chapters. I positively could not put the book down, and yet tried to read slowly as to savor every bit of it. I knew it was coming to a close and felt sadness at the prospect! I felt the pain of Jean Valjean's heart. At times I found I was literally not breathing. Upon finishing page 640, all I wanted to do was go back to page 1 and begin again. I really cannot wait to read this book again! I know I'll glean so much more from it the second (and third?) time through.