A Little in Love - Susan E. Fletcher

One of my favorite characters in "Les Miserables" is Eponine, the teenaged daughter of the villainous Thenardiers. She is madly in love with Marius, the tale's youthful romantic hero, and he pretty much sees Eponine as "one of the guys."

"A Little in Love" is a retelling of "Les Miserables," aimed at the so-called "young adult" audience, from Eponine's perspective. As such, it is a fast read that glosses over the politics of the period for the most part and looks at Eponine as a tragic anti-hero (not a bad perspective, to be honest). We see her envy of young Cosette, who is brought to live with the Thenardiers by a naive, dying Fantine -- who believes that her daughter will be loved and cared for. Despite Cosette's basically being the family slave/drudge, Eponine is jealous of her beauty and kindness. Eponine strives to be kind herself, but falls back into envy easily and abandons her thoughts of betterment with alarming regularity.

The book's title refers to Eponine's last words in Victor Hugo's novel: "You know, Monsieur Marius, I was a little in love with you." The tale of sacrifice in the midst of ugliness is familiar to all who know the original tale.

A decent read, but those looking for more depth would do well to read the original book.