What worked: This is one novel filled with feels. Readers are able to glimpse within Eponine's soul, something that wasn't shown in LES MISERABLES. We see that she does want to do good and be kind but she is taught by her parents to be hard as that's the only way to survive in a cruel world. And this world is indeed very cruel and unforgiving.
Readers see Eponine's struggles and conflicts. She tries to be kind when Cosette comes to their inn but her mother tells her that the new girl is to be a servant. Even then? Eponine does small acts of kindness. I really loved how my own opinion of Eponine as being the cruel, selfish girl was shattered to be replaced with a very human girl. This girl wanted love from her family and hated stealing.
We also see other siblings. Younger sister Azelma, who takes to the life of being a thief. The younger brother Gavroche she raises after her mother's cruel dismissal of him.
The streets of Paris in 1832 aren't the ones of dreams. It's harsh, violent, and cruel. Eponine's fall from being a girl with furs to one that is homeless is tragic.
Fletcher stays pretty true to LES MISERABLES and adds another level of understanding to this classic story. Readers that loved that story, I'm sure will also really enjoy this retelling too.
I was teary-eyed toward the end of this haunting bittersweet tale. Sure, I knew how it would end but Fletcher's portrayal of unrequited love tears at you especially at the conclusion.
Beautifully written, this bittersweet historical will tug at your heart strings. Better yet, it'll have you not see a hard, selfish Eponine but one that looks for redemption for her evil deeds. Indeed, love never dies, and is the strongest thing of all. Loved this story something fierce.
2. Haunting tale of redemption