Friday, August 28, 2015

A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

Title: A Little in Love
Author: Susan Fletcher
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Inspire by Victor Hugo’s classic, Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine.

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?

Though I may not have ever fully read the original text, I am a big fan of the different versions of Les Miserables. Therefore, I was excited about the idea of a book telling Eponine’s story. Though A Little in Love didn’t quite deliver in the way I had hoped it would, I still really enjoyed it. 

All Eponine has ever wanted was to loved and she would have done anything to earn her parents’ love. As a child, that meant stealing for the guests of her family’s inn and being mean to the one person who could have been her friend. She remembers nights secretly caring for her baby brother with Cosette when she was happiest. But that was before Eponine’s family was forced to flee to Paris and live a life of poverty. But Paris is also where Eponine falls in love with a boy and gets one more chance at friendship.

So I love Les Miserables and am more than happy to read or watch anything related to this story. And I’ll admit that when it comes to the musical, the one song that is guaranteed to get me every time is On My Own. To me, what you see of Eponine’s story is just heartbreaking. So when I heard that someone was writing a book that was all Eponine’s story, I was basically all over that. When the time came to read said book, I was fully prepared for all the possible emotions that were likely to come up while I was reading. I knew that there was a strong likelihood that tears should be shed by the time I got the end. Unfortunately, I’m sad to report that A Little in Love didn’t quite deliver the emotional punch I thought it would. While I was reading, I kept waiting for the big emotional punch to the gut to happen, and it never seemed to get there. At least not in the way I had hoped. But that didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story. Because I did enjoy reading A Little in Love and seeing a story I’m very familiar with from a different perspective. 

Being a fan of Les Miserablesto begin with, I already had a good idea of who Eponine was. But reading A Little in Love, I got to find out more about her, and get a better understanding of who she was. And even if the story as a whole didn’t give me the emotional punch I had hoped for, my heart does go out to Eponine. All this girl ever wanted was to be loved, and from an early age she was told the only way she could do that was by stealing, lying and cheating. So whenever I saw her caring for her younger sister and her baby brother, basically giving them the love she wanted herself, my heart broke a little. As I got further in her story, I also had to admire how hard she was trying to make a better life for herself, even though it wasn’t exactly easy. So all that to say that even if the story wasn’t as emotional as I thought it would be, Eponine herself still broke my heart little. 

Though the story wasn’t quite what I had hoped it would be, I still found myself enjoying Susan Fletcher’s A Little in Love. If, like me, you’re a fan of Les Miserables, this book is worth checking out.

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