Just For My Little Girl

About 9 months ago C13 began Victor Hugo’s mammoth french historical novel ‘Les Miserables’.  First published in 1862, it is generally considered to be one of the finest novels of the 19th Century.  It is a book which contains around 1500 pages, and as such is one of the longest novels ever written.  It is a book about ex-convict Jean Valjean, who attempts to make restitution for past wrongs and escape his criminal past, and it contains a heap of French history.

I first bought the book for T, who quite happily devoured his way through the Lord of the Rings trilogy at 9.  However, he gave up after spending 35 pages reading about one officer’s uniform.  For him it was too hard.

Last summer C picked it up, and with the motivation of being allowed to watch the video once she had finished, began ploughing through it.  It was a bit like love at first sight, and whilst it would be inaccurate to say she couldn’t put it down, she did often throughout any given week excitedly share tidbits with me, upset when beloved characters died, overjoyed when characters she felt belonged together fell in love.

les mis 1

Yesterday she finished the final page.  I had asked her to wash up and with unusual reticence she dragged her feet, begging me to let her finish the book.  She had only twenty pages left, and to leave the book hanging whilst she did some chores was unthinkable to her.  I understood entirely and T happily began to wash up for her whilst she read.

les mis 2

She was so proud at the end.  This was a long, and sometimes hard, slog.  But she never gave up and, bless her heart, was beaming from ear to ear having, at last, finished it.

I think she was most excited to be finally able to watch the film of the book, but Gary and I had something much more special in mind.  Reading and music are C13’s things, but unlike L’s trampolining don’t come with competitions, medals and accolades.  We wanted to mark this occasion, because she never gave up, even during the hard-to-understand parts.  So we surprised her with some very special tickets to go and see the live theatre production of Les Miserables for her birthday in October.  She was so excited she could barely contain herself!


She will be tackling Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, another novel set against the back drop of French and Russian history.  I think she will very much enjoy this one, as in Tolstoy’s own words, it is far more philosophical than novel-like.  And C is all about the philosophy!

So proud of my little girl 🙂


  1. Well done to the best twin ever! It was so hm……brave of you to read it the whole way through!
    Love L13

  2. Wonderful idea! We did the very same for our eldest three years ago when she finished the book. And she’s currently 1,000 pages in to War and Peace right now! So funny!

  3. Congratulations! That is a big deal! I’ve read the abridged version of it and seen the Broadway musical twice (once on Broadway, and the second a few years ago when I went back to my college to see their production of it). I absolutely adore that musical and all of the great parallels you can draw to the Christian life (seeing it performed by a Christian college and reading how it drew them closer to God was amazing).

  4. Gosh, I’m nearly twice C’s age and I am daunted by the idea of reading Les Miserables. I did once try some Tolstoy and was completely defeated.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.