Sin and salvation. Grace and greed. Mercy and justice. Good and evil. Truth and lies. God and the rejection of God. These are just a few of the themes that emerge in Victor Hugo’s monumental work, Les Misérables.
Bob Welch, author of seventeen books has been touched by Hugo’s story and has a passion to share that story with his readers.
The title gives away the central purpose of this well-written book. Welch provides readers with a short, crisp introduction to Les Misérables and rightly argues that “context matters.” Once the context is in place, the author takes readers on a journey through this classic work and carefully enters the mind of Victor Hugo.
I was originally skeptical and wondered if Welch was prone to exaggerating and embellishing the story to make a quick buck. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Welch carefully weaves his way through the story and picks up on themes which are ultimately tied to real life situations. The gospel weaves in and out of these life lessons. The lessons could easily be developed and utilized in a small group setting.
52 Little Lessons From Les Misérables is a book worth reading and digesting. It is a book for all kinds of people – believers and unbelievers alike as one of the final citations illustrates so well. The author writes,
Challenged by an agnostic to tell the Christian message in ten words, Will Campbell, a Yale Divinity School graduate and former director of religious life at the University of Mississippi, said it like this: ‘We are all bastards but God loves us anyway.’
“Yes, we – les misérables.” [the poor” or the miserable ones]
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.