A Little In Love by Susan Fletcher
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Chicken House
Received: From another blogger.
Description: Paris, 1832. A girl lies alone in the darkness, clutching a letter to her heart.
Eponine remembers being a child: her swing and the peach tree, and the baby brother she loved. But mostly she remembers being miserable. Taught to lie and cheat, and to hate the one girl, Cosette, who might have been her friend.
Now, at sixteen, the two girls meet again, and Eponine has one more chance. But what is the price of friendship—the love of a boy?
Inspired by Victor Hugo’s classic, Les Misérables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine.
Review: A book about my favorite Les Mis character? Sign me up! Let’s get one thing out of the way: this book is based off of the original novel, often referred to as “The Brick” (If you’ve ever seen a copy you’ll know why). Because of this, it is going to follow a slightly different track than the musical. However, if you are a fan of the musical and not the book you can still love this book, especially if you love Eponine.
So as a fan of both The Brick and the musical I was really worried that this book wasn’t going to live up to the source material. But if you think about it, the Brick doesn’t spend huge amounts of page time of little old Eponone. Your main characters are pretty much Jean ValJean and Cosette (whom I’ve never really been able to stand.) Here, this entire book is all things Eponine. Want to see her side of growing up? You got it! How the family got to Paris? Sure! How she fell for Marius? It’s in there! All the thing you missed if you’ve never read the book but saw the musical? Tons of it. The book covers and entire life and it only lasts 288 pages, that’s a lot of ground to cover.
The book starts before Cosette arrives, and yeah her parents are already pretty unpleasant. It’s funny, I have to say that this is the only version in which I actually like Cosette. She’s kind of dull in the Brick and completely useless in the musical (sorry, Cosette fans, it’s true). While her main character trait here is that she’s kind despite it all, at least that’s a little more interesting than just being ValJean’s motivation. Eponine has to make a lot of decisions about her own character at a young age: not entirely being ok with stealing but needing her parents’ approval, having to be mean to Cosette because her parents want her too, that sort. She has a pretty good read on them even from that age, but she still wants their love.
You also meet the rest of her family, one of which some of you musical fans may recognize. There’s her sister who completely fits in with her nasty parents and a little brother called Gavroche. Yes, in the original Brick, Gavroche is Eponine’s little brother. You get a little bit of his background and he shows up again for a little bit later in the story as well (exactly where you think he does). There are also supposed to be a pair of twin boys (I’m pretty sure) but they are neither mentioned in this book nor the musical.
Eponine’s character has a lot of moral dilemmas to deal with and it makes her character all the more interesting. Persoanlly I never really got her attraction to Marius but this book kind of gives you a little bit more of that. Personally I think her and Enjorlas would make an awesome power couple but even here that idea is relegated to fan fiction fodder. Ah well.
The rest of the characters, while a little more fleshed out, still remain their usual selves. Some are more interesting that others and I still say that Marius’ infatuation with Cosette makes no freaking sense. It’s still an instalove situation and it’s still weird. Cosette at least finally has some personality and ValJean makes a brief appearance but really just follows what happens in The Brick.
If this is the kind of book that interests you, go ahed and pick it up. If you love Eponine you’ll enjoy yourself. IF you’re just a musical fan you’ll get some more background without having to tackle The Brick. And any one who has seen/read any version will know how it ends but it will still break your heart. Not gonna lie I was singing “Little Fall of Rain” to myself as I read that bit. I loved this book and I would actually be interested to see more of these from different characters POVs.
What do you think? Share in the comments.