Author: Susan E. Fletcher
Published: August 25, 2015 by Chicken House (Scholastic)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: Inspired by Victor Hugo's classic, Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine.
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?
I learned about this book recently from Melissa of The Novelty Podcast. I couldn't believe that this book existed and I was only just learning about it. I mean this is a retelling about a classic I enjoy and about a character that I love. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may have seen pictures of my cat. My cat who is named Eponine. My cat named after the MC in this book. So as soon as I learned about it I preordered this book and when I got to read it, I absolutely devoured it.
That's part of what I loved about this book is the character of Eponine. We all know how things end for her right? If you don't the prologue makes things very clear. This is not a happy story. She is one of the most tragic characters in literature in my opinion. The best thing Eponine ever got is the song On My Own. Throughout most of Les Mis she is a poor street urchin who is used by her family to steal. The man she loves doesn't feel the same way and she is convinced to help him woo the girl he does love, someone from Eponine's past who she has basically swapped situations with. In this book, Eponine's character arc mirrors that of Jean Valjean's in the original novel. She is someone who is trying to make a better life for herself by doing good things for others while trying to escape her past. But unlike Valjean, we all know how Eponine's story ends and it's not happily. You can't help but empathize with this character who is treated with such disdain and still has kindness in her heart. I just want to be her friend, to show her the love that she so desperately wants.
But I think my favorite thing about this book was Susan Fletcher's writing. It reminded me so much of Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. It had the same kind of tone and lyricism. It is this heavy and emotional read but it also has the beauty to it. To get into the head of a character who is sort of an observer of the world around her while desiring something she never really achieves makes it's beautiful and tragic at the same time. She captures the sense of desire that Eponine has for a better life and to find someone or somewhere that she fits in and feels love. It's told in first person perspective but you almost have this out of book experience while reading it.
I loved this book so much. It is a beautiful and emotional story of a young woman who you can't help but want to see succeed but in the back of your mind you know that's not possible. It's a short and engaging read that will appeal to fans of the original novel as well as the musical adaptation.
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. I may be a little biased, this is a book about one of my favorite characters but it's just fantastic. If you are a fan of the original novel or are just looking for a retelling, a character-driven book full of feels, or historical fiction novel full of beautiful writing and emotion then pick this book up. It's tragic and gorgeous at the same time and I just adored it.
Have you read A Little Love? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.