Category Archives: France

Review: Of Wicked Blood by Olivia Wildenstein & Katie Hayoz

Of Wicked Blood (The Quatrefoil Chronicles #1) by Olivia Wildenstein & Katie Hayoz

NO REST FOR THE WICKED . . . OR THE CURSED.

SLATE
I didn’t mean to steal the Bloodstone from the De Morel’s crypt.
Scratch that, I did mean to steal it.
Until I realized it was a curse-magnet that only comes off if I, along with a jolly trio, successfully defeat four curses. If any of us fail, I’m dead. I’ve never been a glass half-empty sort of person, but my glass looks in dire need of a refill right about now.
The only highlight of this wicked treasure hunt: feisty, entitled Cadence de Morel.

CADENCE
I was raised on tales of magic, in a small town reputed to be the birthplace of French witchcraft.
Did I believe all the stories I heard? Absolutely not. I mean, if magic existed, Maman wouldn’t have died, and Papa wouldn’t be stuck in a wheelchair, right?
Wrong.
The night Slate Ardoin waltzes into my life, wearing a ring he stole from my mother’s grave, I call him a monster. But then I meet real ones, and Slate, well . . . he becomes something else to me.
Something frustrating to live with but impossible to live without.
Something I will fight for, no matter the cost.

*Warning: profuse cursing (and not just the magical kind).

Published 2 February 2021|  Publisher: Twig Publishing

My Blurb (2.5 / 5 stars)

I must admit I do like that cover but not sure if I like the description enough to pick this up for a read. The main reason was that I was curious about netgalley app for audiobook and this one was the only ‘Listen Now’ that I found remotely interesting. So I decided to give this audiobook a listen.

There are 2 POVs as noted in the book description, Slate & Cadence. I think it’s also obvious from the description that these 2 are going to butt heads in more than 1 way. Whilst I do like their characters (they are easily likeable), the back and forth in the romance was a little too much for me and then, there is that whiff/hint of a triangle. If you know me, you’d know this little bit would’ve been enough to turn me off. Sorry… this is not a book for me and this is all me. I did however liked the whole mystery & quest for the quatrefoil and there are hints of darker acts at the end of this audiobook. However, I’m not sure if I’m curious enough to follow up with the sequel.

With 2 POVs, there are 2 narrators. Whilst I liked both voices, I found their disparate pacing to be off putting. If you listen to a lot of audiobooks like I do, I think you’d know that you really do need that consistent pacing through one a book or you’d have to readjust your listening each time and that’s what I had to do for each alternate chapters. 

Oh, and that ‘profuse cursing’ warning is to be taken seriously. I would usually listen to my audiobooks in the car while driving my kids places and I really couldn’t with this audiobook; not even for the 5 minutes’ drive to school.

Thank you Twig Publishing via Netgalley for the audio copy of this book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  instagram

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  instagram  |  facebook  |  pinterest

 

Review: The Girl Who Reads on the Métro by Christine Féret-Fleury

 

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro by Christine Féret-Fleury

For fans of The Little Paris Bookshop and The Elegance of the HedgehogThe Girl Who Reads on the Métrois the French phenomenon by Christine Féret-Fleury ready to charm book-lovers everywhere . . .

When Juliette takes the métro to her loathed office job each morning, her only escape is in books – she avidly reads on her journey and imagines what her fellow commuters’ choices might say about them.

But when, one day, she decides to alight the train a few stops early and meets Soliman – the mysterious owner of the most enchanting bookshop Juliette has ever seen – she is sure her life will never be the same again . . .

For Soliman also believes in the power of books to change the course of a life – entrusting his passeurs with the task of giving each book to the person who needs it most – and he thinks Juliette is perfect for the job.

And so, leaving her old life behind, Juliette will discover the true power a book can have . . .

Published 29 October 2019 |  Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia  |  RRP: AUD$24.99

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

 

I don’t think this is a book that I would’ve picked up on my own initiative. The cover looks so very cute and it’s set in France so really, I would have felt, yea, maybe… then gone on and forgot all about it. Thanks to the publicist at MacMillan Australia though for sending me a copy because I so loved reading this book.

I was at the stage that I needed something light and this book was just perfect. It was written in such whimsical tones and yet, it wasn’t chirpy in any way. In fact, when you stop and think about it, the story is actually rather sad. And yet again, the author somehow managed to write in such beautiful turn of phrases to uplift the readers’ hearts. Of course, all those loving praises she lavished on books will not go astray but are rather direct hits to booklovers’ hearts.

Some of us may just understand Juliette, main protagonist, better than others. We may just be like her in our situation, ie. just happened to get a job, stuck it out even if you’re not particularly enjoying it, everyday is just routine & nothing exciting ever happens. Until one day when she spontaneously got off the Metro a number of stops away from her destination and found herself wandering the streets. And hence she begins to discover parts of herself previously dormant, to opening her heart, and to find the life she’s meant to live. It’s a terrific ending for a stand alone (for which I believe this book is) but I find myself wishing for a lot more of Juliette and her adventures.

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro is a lovely easy heart-warming read. When you have that rare spare moment that you just want to read a whole book, don’t pass this one by. I’ll bet you’ll find yourself smiling to yourself 🙂

Thanks to Pan MacMillan Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Christine Féret-Fleury began her career as a publisher at Gallimard Jeunesse. In 1996, she wrote her debut children’s book, Le Petit Tamour, quickly followed in 1999 by her debut novel for adults, Les vagues sont douces comme des tigres, winner of the Antigone Prize. Since then, she has gone on to write eighty further books, and counting. A prolific reader, she likes to try her hand at each of the many literary genres she enjoys. The Girl Who Reads on the Métro is her first adult novel to be translated into English.

Review: The Juliet Code by Christine Wells

The Juliet Code by Christine Wells

It’s 1947 and the war is over, but Juliet Barnard is still tormented by secrets. She was a British agent and wireless operator in occupied Paris until her mission went critically wrong. Juliet was caught by the Germans, imprisoned and tortured in a mansion in Paris’s Avenue Foch.

Now that she’s home, Juliet can’t – or won’t – relive the horrors that occurred in that place. Nor will she speak about Sturmbannführer Strasser, the manipulative Nazi who held her captive. . .

Haunted by the guilt of betrayal, the last thing Juliet wants is to return to Paris. But when Mac, an SAS officer turned Nazi-hunter, demands her help searching for his sister, Denise, she can’t refuse. Denise and Juliet trained together before being dropped behind enemy lines. Unlike Juliet, Denise never made it home. Certain Strasser is the key to discovering what happened to his sister, Mac is determined to find answers – but will the truth destroy Juliet?

Published 30 April 2018 |  Publisher: Penguin Random House  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

I read Code Name Verity a few weeks ago so found the premise of this book even more compelling. Unlike Code Name Verity, however, The Juliet Code follows the aftermath of captivity. There is a dual timeline, albeit only a few years apart, of course, to provide the background of her capture and ultimately, on her survival.

Juliet Barnard is not one of those ‘kick-ass-heroine’ or at least, she’s not described as such to begin with. In the opening chapter, she’s a broken woman, fearful of what’s happened during her incarceration in France. In the earlier timeline, she’s compared unfavourably against other women who are better physically & mentally. She is intelligent and determined but not particularly capable as an agent in training but the country is desperate and cannot spare anyone. I love this characterisation of Juliet because it made her completely relate-able.

I loved the glamorously romantic cover and my chronically romantic self fell head over heels over this love story. If you are not a fan of insta-love, however, this book is not for you. Whilst I’m fascinated by war stories, for me, The Juliet Code is a beautiful romance story than anything else. In fact, this romantic story haunts me over the past week since I’ve finished reading and I’ll probably continue to daydream about Juliet & Felix for the next few months at least.

Thanks to Penguin Random House for copy of book in exchange of honest review. 

About the author

Christine Wells worked as a corporate lawyer in a city firm before exchanging contracts and prospectuses for a different kind of fiction. In her novels, she draws on a lifelong love of British history and an abiding fascination for the way laws shape and reflect society. Christine is devoted to big dogs, good coffee, beachside holidays and Antiques Roadshow, but above all to her two sons who live with her in Brisbane.

Find Christine on:  goodreads  |  website  | twitter  |  facebook  | instagram

Review: The French Promise

The French Promise by Fiona McIntosh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: My local library

Fiona McIntosh dedicated this novel to Bryce Courtenay, “who convinced me [Fiona] I was a storyteller and insister I write down those tales.” Thank you, Bryce Courtenay and to Fiona, for such an amazing story of courage and hope.

The story flows very smoothly and it took me on an emotional ride as I was swept along first by grief and heartbreak, a bleak horizon, to hope, happiness, a warm kitchen in a cold windy English weather, and back again. These emotions were woven through the story with such expertise that sometimes it took me by surprise that I’ve moved on from one emotion to another.

We were taken from the hopeless and desolate concentration camp during WWII for a treat to bright sunny Tasmania and glamorous Paris. The differences in each place visited in the novel was visibly aromatic and I felt that I made this trip with the characters.

Note: I have only just found out, at time of writing this review, that there is a novel which precedes this one, [b:The Lavender Keeper|13506058|The Lavender Keeper|Fiona McIntosh|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1330577717s/13506058.jpg|19056756], so if you like to read in order, I’d suggest to read that one first

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Review: Les Misérables

https://i0.wp.com/d.gr-assets.com/books/1327702573l/24280.jpgLes Misérables by Victor Hugo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Own a copy – Get your own copy from The Book Depository

It feels as though it’s such an accomplishment to have read Les Misérables. It is a very big book which I have had for about 14 years but never read. I tried once but only got as far as 20 pages or so, embarrassingly, and I have to admit, even this time, the reading was not free of struggles. With the 5 volumes, I enjoyed the first and last volumes whilst the middle 3 not as much.

The first volume opens with the introduction of a most sincere godly man, Monsieur Myriel. His background was a bit scratchy but the fact is that he is a man of God who continuously strives to obey God’s will in every aspects of life even when it makes his life uncomfortable. Whilst he is made out to be such a saint, we do get to see some inner struggles though not as many as others would have.

Jean Valjean’s encounter with Monsieur Myriel is the key to Valjean’s salvation. Valjean was released on parole and was unwelcome to wherever he went. To him, was not given the treatment of equal. M. Myriel, however, welcomes him as he would anybody else. A further act of kindness from M. Myriel made him that bright shining light on an ever darkening life to Valjean. It became a standard which he clung onto for the rest of his life, striving to always be deserving of that burning brightness by responding in kind to those who in need.

Javert, on the other hand, whilst sharing as similar poor background with Valjean, had carved himself a career as a police inspector. He is very rigid in his views of the Law, everything is black or white and nothing else in between. He became obsessed with the capture of Valjean and like a dog that has caught a whiff of his prey, he will not give up. Hence, is Valjean’s arch nemesis and a perfect foil. By the end of the book and after we have witnessed Javert and Valjean’s final encounter, Javert’s thought and actions made me wonder if Javert has ever experienced kindness in his life?

Les Misérables is not about the love story between Marius and Cosette at all. In fact, I was slightly deflated to find that I did not like either characters and therefore, could not appreciate their ‘love’. If anything, they and their love painfully highlighted Valjean’s love and sacrifice. His salvation was ensured by his last act of sacrifice.

As I said above, this is a very big book (1,463 pages) but the above pretty much summarised the Big Main Point of the book for me. There are, of course, many other little points but the above is THE most important bit as it was shown through Valjean just how one merciful act, one kindness to those whom we do not think deserves it is the most worthiest recipient as they will spend their whole lives paying it forward even sacrificing themselves for other’s happiness.

Thank you all who have accompanied me through the Read Along -appreciate your support 😉

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Read Along: Les Misérables -Volume 5: Jean Valjean

**SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**

Whoopee!!  Yipee!!  Horray!!  It is done!  It is finished!

The best volume in the whole novel, I believe.  Or at least, one that entertained me most.  The suspense of the barricade, Valjean’s roller coaster mood, and of course, it is when all converged into one glorious ending.

There were a couple of tangential thoughts but not as many as the previous volumes nor as ponderous.  The history of Parisian sewerage, whilst not to my taste, was interesting to note.

Marius, unable to secure his grandfather’s assistance for marriage, could not find Cosette.  She has gone away and life means nothing to him now.  He looks to his death at the barricade.  However, Fate conspires to prevent his death.  Firstly through Eponine (what a heroine!) then Valjean (with Titanian strength and courage).  Marius is definitely a product of the period so whilst I understood the reasoning behind his thoughts, that did not help me in liking him one little bit.  This was mostly due to his cold attitude towards Valjean after his confession.  I kept thinking of the good bishop (M.Myriel) and why Marius can’t be a little like him after all Valjean has done (even in secret) – is he blind as well as dense?!?! (okay, I admit being a little insensible with anger)

I found that I utterly dislike Cosette.  So she’s young (19).  So she’s led a very very sheltered life.  So both Marius and Valjean and everybody thinks she’s an angel.  From the little I’ve read (there really wasn’t much of her), she’s a silly little wench -superficial, easily distracted, timid, unthinking, etc (I think I had better stop now).

Valjean was heart broken to find out that Cosette’s heart no longer belongs to him only.  She loves another with the passion of a woman.  Despite his heartbreak, he wants only one thing: for Cosette to be happy.  With all the strength he has left, he made it all happen: rescued Marius from the barricade, arranged for the couple to marry (without any possible blemish to be found on the security of this institution), and ensuring the future financially.  His sacrifice was complete – he gave his all for the light of his life to continue to shine.

Javert  excites my pity, Thénardier makes me huffed with exasperation and I can only shake my head at the antics of M. Gillenormand.  Despite my disliking Marius and Cosette, Valjean’s light shone ever so brightly.  A beginning full of suspense and action, a middle thick with disappointment and angst, completed with an ending to beautifully crafted -everything packaged neatly into an un-labelled box.

Read Along: Les Misérables -Volume 4: Saint-Denis

**SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**

Confession time: I’ve not finish this volume yet!  I’m 20 pages shy but am too tired to read (or to even write this post) but I should’ve done this so much earlier.  What can I say… quite a bit actually!  I have to apologise first though as this post may turn out to be a rant!

I was really disappointed with Cosette!  She SWOONED!  *AUGH!*

As it also happened I started reading Mansfield Park too the other week and erm, know I remember why I didn’t finish it – Fanny Price swooned!! *gagging noises*

So Cosette & Fanny swooned for different reasons and I have fainted before (sickness and too much sun) so I’m not dissing the fact that you can faint due to some real illness etc but Gah! I can’t stand my heroines to be weak & swoony!  I ilke them strong and totally kick-ass!  Like…

Eponine!  What a gutsy chick!  I had to take a point off of her for falling for Marius though. She followed him, she manouvered some moves to make him hers and as she died…

with that tragic joy of jealous heart that drag the being they love into death with them, saying, “Nobody shall have him.”

All right, if you’re only reading this then she doesn’t sound so impressive but what she did that caused her death is one of the most touching bit of this book!  Gutsy, indeed!

I was ranting to a friend yesterday who agreed with dislike at Cosette and Marius yet she loves this book for the values being put forth throughout this book, primarily through Valjean but also some via Javert and some others.  I wonder if Cosette and Marius are omitted from the whole novel, whether it’ll make much of a difference?  Well, it will probably not make such a popular musical / movie etc however, we’ll have to consider this further at the end of the novel (in 2 weeks’t time).

Oh, shall I mentioned also that my friend and I actually like Marius’ grandfather?  I’m not at all sure if we’re supposed to like him,  He definitely doesn’t sound like someone I’d like in real life but he’s sooo broken!

Father Mabeuf also touched my heart this week… especially that one time when he was looking for a book to carry under his arm only to realise that he has none left -he’s sold them all! I think if that ever happened to me, it certainly is time to leave this world, as Father Mabeuf did in style!

I’ve definitely enjoyed this volume most to date.  That’s mostly because all these characters are coming together for me and there are a lot of stuff happening in this volume.  I can’t wait for the end though!

Read Along: Les Misérables -Volume 3: Marius

**SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**

Arrgh, the most boring volume yet!  Is anyone feeling the same?  Thing is I feel nothing for this volume -well, almost nothing.  There was a lot of stuff I didn’t particularly care for and I supposed, at this stage, I do NOT care for Marius *gasp!*

At first, I was really excited seeing that we get to learn about Marius’ background (note that I didn’t particularly know very much about Marius ‘cept on his later connection with Cosette).  An angry bitter child / young man due to his perception of his father’s rejection of him – a sad childhood in the home of an old man (his grandfather) and a spinster (his aunt who did not care for him).  His father’s death did not touch him until such time that he met, by coincidence, a man who told him of his father’s love for him.

When Marius discovered the reason of the rift in his family, he went out to explore the political differences and chose side on his own.  At first, I was a bit sceptical about this as it just sounded like something drastic you’d do after a traumatic event.  However, as Marius struck out on his own (even though it was kind of enforced on him) and despite poverty and lack of food, he had the strength to return his grandfather’s money to stand by his principles – this I totally admire and then, understood that it really meant something to him.

But then, the next moment, I got truly frustrated with him – in his encounters with Cosette and Valjean. It seems Valjean has yet donned another personae, M. LeBlanc, which totally suited his appearance.  It was just so frustrating witnessing Marius’ ineptness and utter stupidity in these encounters. I really had to laugh at this part though…

For days and days after this piece of good fortune [Marius picked up a white handkerchief of which he thought belonging to Cosette], he always appeared at the Luxembourg kissing this handkerchief and placing it on his heart.  The beautiful child did not understand this at all, and told him so through imperceptible signs.

Seriously, I would’ve thought Marius to be some sort of pervert!  Which they probably did and therefore, changed their habit and moved house with no forwarding address.  What a fool!

The last part of this volume was the Best part as it was just so suspenful; it was utterly exciting to read!  But then, I was once again frustrated with Marius -a fainting spell, seriously, “Be a Man and Do the Right Thing!”  With the relief that Marius felt in not having to choose whom to save whilst things appear to resolve best they can by themselves, I am left disappointed that Marius didn’t have a chance to prove his manhood here.

Am I being a little too critical of Marius?  Whilst intellectual, he is seriously weak in many other ways and this is just too frustrating for me.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this volume… do link up your post and it doesn’t work for you, leave a link on the comments 🙂

Read Along: Les Misérables -Volume 2: Cosette

**SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**

I was truthfully quite bored at the beginning of this volume.  50+ pages dedicated to describe the Battle of Waterloo from which Hugo is making a point but it bores me because most of the names & places mean nothing to me.  It might actually makes a difference if I know some of these characters & places. I get it that it was a glorious war – great & cunning generals were involved, weather affecting outcomes, and even Lady Luck played a role.  But in the end, Napoleon was crushed and grave robbers took the spoils – despite it all, nothing truly changes for the better…

The only thing I really liked about this part was how Hugo brought it back to the storyline with the appearance of Thénardier. I had to laugh as to just how ridiculous he is and the whole situation with Pontmercy.

Did you enjoy this tale of Battle of Waterloo?

Valjean could be James Bond seeing the way he was escaping prison.  He planned.  He waited for a good opportunity.  He wasted not a moment and whilst people are distracted he escaped and faked his death at the same time.  Unfortunately, I don’t think he’d made a very good spy [see below].  I loved the way he made his entrance into Cosette’s life (by carrying a too-heavy bucket for her out of the darkest of night).  And when, he picked up Cosette and she laid her head down on his shoulders… *awww* I am touched & entranced – this is trust… the beginning of love… 🙂  On another note, it’s surprising that Cosette retained some sincerity & faith in others noting her past 5 years with the Thénardiers.  Is the point that she is intrinsically a good person?

Thénardier still posed just as ridiculous and his corruptness made just the perfect foil for Valjean.  Didn’t you feel contempt at when he was trying to squeeze Valjean for all he can?  Or didn’t you smirk in triumph when Valjean put him back in his place by showing him Fantine’s note?  or snort when he even considered to tackle Valjean ’til he realised the size differences?  Despite all this ridicule or maybe because he is so ridiculous, I think I actually like this character!  LOL

How do you think Cosette remained to be such sweet child after all these years?

Valjean really needed to disappear and I supposed Paris was a good choice – lots of people there, right?  Will be easy to escape notice, right?  Well, it appears he cannot keep from being noticed due to his strange behaviour, “the stranger who gives alms”.  And then, when he was trying to escape from Javert, he doesn’t know where he’s going! It’s pretty obvious that he hasn’t charted a Plan B (Escape Route when Discovered). Definitely, not a spy material!  Still, his desperation in combination with his superhuman strength is the combo necessary to ensure his & Cosette’s safety.  And he climbed over an impossible wall for the haven on the other side.

Javert is truly a man Obsessed.  He will pursue Valjean not caring of the little girl implicated in his chase.  She is, to him, expendable.  He is ambitious and yet, cautious, in trying to ensure his success to be such that a promotion will be the undeniable result.  This is a man I can envision to be losing sleep as he hunted for his prey, unbending in his faith in the law and their systems.  How terrifying!

One wonders whether Javert has considered all and chose to place his absolute faith in The Law or whether he was in such desperate circumstances that he saw The Law as his only “escape route” and therefore, blinded to all other avenues by his self-imposed blinkers…

*sigh* and we had another tangentials to dwell in the Convent and the Church.  Not a very positive view this time around (in comparison to M. Myriel) yet it highlights the point where a system may be corrupt and yet, there are those with pure faith and in practice too.  Nevertheless, a convent is a perfect ‘retirement’ for Valjean – its seclusion from the world outside gave Valjean the sense of security and peace he has not previously (another chance at life).

I think there is a place in the world for convents – but unfortunately, the one we are particularly seeing in this book, is a very self-serving one.  One where you live in utter seclusion from the world, not being able to see your own relatives much less touch them affectionately.  This is utter tosh to me.  I believe that being children of God calls us to serve others and how can you serve anybody when you are living “outside” of the world?

What do you think life in a convent will be like for Cosette?  Especiall in a harsh one like the convent of Petit-Picpus?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this volume… do link up your post and it doesn’t work for you, leave a link on the comments 🙂

Read Along: Les Misérables -Volume 1: Fantine

**SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**     **SPOILERS ALERT**

I am surprisingly enjoying my read the past week.  Surprising because the first couple of times I’ve picked this up, I’ve never got beyond the Bishop.  I think maybe the glass of wine / honeymead I consumed each reading session helped?  I don’t normally drink and I can safely say, that I’ve probably drank more the past week than I have last year… LOL.  As I was saying to hubby, ‘It’s set in France… France – Wine, am I reaching a bit far, do you think?’

In my ‘Introduction’, Lee Fahnestock commented that ‘Hugo conceived of the book as the story of a saint, a man, a woman, and a little girl.’

What do you think of Bishop Myriel?  He’s definitely described as being truly saintly; I’m wondering if there’s any pessimistic reader out there?

He would talk like that, gravely and paternally, inventing parables when he lacked examples, going straight to the point with a few phrases and a lot of images, with the very eloquence of Christ, convincing and persuasive.

For me, I really do admire him and wish that I could be like him! One thing is for sure, I would probably be happier with life if I’m not so attached to many material things.  However, it didn’t mean that he wasn’t struggling with some things though – although, ‘struggle’ is probably too strong a word. We still see him ‘learning’ things at times – like finally letting go of the silvers (the last luxury items he had held onto for so long) etc.

For those of you who are reading this for the first time, was there any assumptions you have made previously from whatever source which was just incorrect?  Was there anything which surprises you from the past week’s readings?

I somehow assumed that Fantine’s lover was a sailor or something like that – who knows why… that was a wacky assumption on my part!  And he turned out to be some snooty bratty rich dude!  Who, by the by, was not impressive at all – balding with bad teeth!  Okay, so his appearance obviously wasn’t what he has going for him…

According to Wikipedia, there are some differences in the musical:

  • Rather than being fired for being an unwed mother, a fellow female worker steals her letter from the Thénardiers claiming another need for money; the worker presumes that she is a prostitute to cover her debts with the low wages. Valjean sees this, but leaves this to his foreman; the foreman, his advances having been rejected by Fantine, fires her.
  • Fantine also does not appear to be illiterate as when the foreman hands her the letter from the Thénardiers she is able to read it just as well as anyone else.
  • Fantine dies peacefully in hospital with Valjean at her side after entrusting him with Cosette; Javert never reveals Valjean’s true identity to her, as he arrives after her death.

And Javert!!  I always thought of him as truly mean!  But reading his background made me understand just how circumstances made him into such a hard man.  He is pitiable not only because of his background but that he’s not been able to preserve his humanity – the compassion for others.

What do you think of the contrast between Javert & Valjean?

Valjean did not have an easy childhood himself nor did he have an easy time as an adult being incarcerated to begin with and then ostracized for being a parolee and yet… a kindness granted him a new lease of life!  A kindness which drives him to compassions towards others.

Whether true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence on their lives, and particularly on their destinies, as what they do.

Does this provoke a serious review on your attitude towards others?  A little kindness on our part to others (like giving up a seat on the train even!) may make that much of a difference to others.

“The Infinite exists. It is there.  If the infinite had no me, the me would be its limit; it would not be the infinite; in other words, it would not be.  But it is.  Then it has a me.  This me of the infinite is God.”

Over to you!  What has been the high point for you this week?  Any quote/s which bowled you over this week?

By the way, I am actually away for the weekend (playing camp parents at a youth camp) and I think internet connection may be patchy at best, so I’ll get back to you after the weekend!  Have a fantastic one, everybody!

I have this song in my head whilst I’m typing this post, so… does anyone remember this?

Post being edited to include links to other posts:

The Dead Authors Club

Half-Filled Attic

Love Notes in Library Books

Recipes for a Better World