09 December 2009

It's late, but Les Miserables is the best novel ever written.

This week has been a crappy one. Loss of job (and thereby income), average GRE scores (much lower than my target score), loneliness, stress of getting 12 Christmas gifts for loved one, stress of getting into grad school, stress of finding a new job. . . I could go on but I've pretty much been stressed out about my future, even though I KNOW that God has a plan for my life.

It just so happens that I noticed my favorite book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo on my bookshelf last Friday. And it just so happens that I picked it up after a decade of not reading it, and it just so happens that I fell in love with it all over again.

It is the best book ever written. It shows how one good deed done not for the sake of man, but for God can have repercussions that span generations. That is, a middle-aged newly released prisioner comes into a new town, is turned away from everyone in town except for the local priest. The local priest takes him in, and, when stolen from reacts in love, giving him the items that were stolen.

This stirs the man, who sets out to make a good, pious life for himself. Ever present in front of the man are his failures, his sins. He seeks out to act rightly and does so. In the process he takes in Cosette. The little orphan girl grows up and is raised to love and revere God, the church and her father. And through a glance, she falls in love.

I don't know why the story of Cosette and Marius moves me so much. They are youths, he 20 and she 16 when they fall in love. He a historian-lawyer-rebel and she a quiet daughter. They exchange glances at the park and he pursues her. When the insurrection of 1832 causes them to be separated, the father brings them back together.

Jean Valjean is my favorite character now. Back when I was 15, I thought Marius was the best. However, now I see that Jean Valjean is the best character because he truly shows not only what it means to be redeemed, and reconciled with Christ, but what it means to love.

Its late and this isn't well written, but Jean Valjean gives up his own security so that his adopted daughter may be loved. That is an example what Christ has done for each of us. It is completely laudable. One day I will have to write a better review on this masterpiece of fiction.