Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Les Miserables

Les Miserables

Title: Manga Classics: Les Miserables
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So, I know this was a movie, and a musical, I believe, but I initially had no idea what it was about or any interest in the storyline.

We start our story with Fantine searching for honest work with her illegitimate child. Unable to find work, they leave to a small town called Montfermeil in rural France. In order for them to experience a better life, Fantine pays the Thenardiers to watch her darling Cosette.

Five years earlier, 1815, in Digne, Jean Valjean is released from prison after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread and is just looking for a nice, warm place to eat and sleep. However, no one in town is buying it and won’t give him the time of day. Bishop Myriel kindly lets him in. Blaming society for not being able to find honest work, his only means of survival turned to stealing, not only for himself, but his sister’s family, as well. Bad behavior strikes again when he steels the “silver”ware from the Bishop and gets caught by soldiers, but when turned in to the Bishop, the Bishop said they were a present to make Jean “an honest man”. And who does he end up being?! None other than the Mayor Madeleine of Monfermeil!

As the years go on, the Thenardiers request more and more money from Fantine and she slowly gives away parts of her body to keep her daughter well-kept. After a misunderstanding and Fantine is sentenced to jail, Valjean asks the townsfolk if what was said is true, and Fantine is declared innocent. At this point, Valjean makes it his life goal to deliver Cosette to her mother and help in every way he can to ensure a good life. But all too soon, someone else gets in the way.

Years and years later, when Cosette is older, Marius and her secretly covet each other without the other knowing. Marius, a young man, raised by his grandparents, dreams of thanking the man who saved his father’s life in the war, a man named Thenardier. But the Thenardiers are around and always have something up their sleeves.

After reading this manga, I want to see the movie now! What is great about these mangas is that they are light, leave out pointless description, and are fast reads! I really enjoy this one and am actually excited for the next one because I hated the book in high school.

Will Cosette and Fantine be reunited? Will Valjean stick with his promise? Will Valjean ever be able to live peacefully without Jalvert always on his back? Will anything happen between Cosette and Marius?

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