Giving Novels a Second Chance

 In Biographical / Reflective, Essay


Hello Friends,

Sometimes the perfect blog comes across my computer screen at the exact right time in my life. If you’ve been following along with this blog, you will know that I’ve been going through some tough transitions lately and have whined, determined and accepted the changes though I am using my emotions for the greater good: my writing.

As with my other graduates, finding a job is difficult and sometimes it feels like we are giving up on our dreams in order to get a pay check these days. Life’s journey isn’t always the one that you think it is going to take you on… but all great novels have a surprise twist in the beginning that sets off the character’s story… I think that’s where I am… that’s where I think many of you are, as well.

I was married in 2011. 2 weeks before the wedding, Les Miserables came to a local theatre here in Los Angeles. I am sorry to say that I had never seen the play before nor read the novel. I was in the car with one of my best friends a few days ago and we were talking about the upcoming movie version of the play. My friend and I are big Broadway people and all I had heard from her and quite a few other friends was that “Les Mis was the one play that would change your life forever.” Well while in the car, I told her that my now husband and I really didn’t care for the play… at all. I enjoyed the music, but I had heard the music before. The play itself was OOOOOOKKKKKKK. Nothing that I would pay the money to see again. My friend was shocked and horrified at my statement. She just couldn’t understand it because I have loved EVERY play I’ve ever seen… except that one.

For those who have never read the book or seen the play, the title translates to “The Miserable Ones” that should say it all—it’s depressing! So I got to thinking about it… maybe I didn’t like the play because I saw it at the wrong time in my life. I was just about to get married… life was just starting, opening up, full of possibilities! And here on stage is a 3 hr show about war, death, tragedy, prostitutes, poor and sad children, etc. It was just not as happy “I’m getting married in the morning…ding, dong, the bells are gonna chime!!!” and I wanted it to be! Now that I’m in a different place in my life, I wonder… would I view it differently today? In the same way that I watch cartoons differently today than I did as a child… there are jokes only adults would get in those suckers… I wonder if I would view Les Mis differently now. So, my friend gave me advice to at least read the book… which I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t.

So… I have my copy of Hugo’s masterpiece on my nightstand and my friend has promised to see the movie version with me if I finish it by December… So… I’ll keep you updated!

My friend, Molly Keating, has a blog for her work. Yesterday, (the day after the aforementioned conversation), I’m reading Molly’s blog and this was the topic of the day… coincidence? I think not! It’s about looking for hope in the least likely places and the doors will be opened to you. And she is also reading Les Miserables. Now I feel like I’m meant to give it a second chance. Take a moment and read her blog post- it’s fascinating!

Enjoy friends!

Original blog can be found at:

Have You Knocked At Every Door?

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Molly

Have You Knocked At Every Door?

I’m reading Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Do you ever begin a book & realize you were destined to read it at just this time in life? That’s how Les Mis feels.

Yes, it’s a huge, thick book but I like those the best. It’s like meeting a new friend & having lots and lots of long talks. The right book can become a beautiful relationship & I already know just 1/4th of the way through Les Mis that this is going to be a life-long companion of mine.

The pages of this book have resonated with me tremendously over the past few weeks. Parts of my life feel out of control & I’ve begun to experience moments of hopelessness. I’m sure many of you have experienced hopelessness in some way, whether it be financially, relationally, or spiritually.

You know the verse, “knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7)? Well, it hasn’t seemed like that to me lately. I’ve been knocking & nothing has happened.

But then I read this passage in Les Mis; Jean Valjean (the protagonist) is homeless, an ex-convict, and has been turned away from every inn and public house in the  little town of Digne. He lays down on a bench outside of a church when an older woman comes out and asks about his story. He tells her there is no place for him in the whole town.

She asks:

The door she is referring to? The open, unlocked door of the old & faithful Bishop of Digne who welcomes him in, feeds him & gives Jean Valjean the first clean bed & set of sheets he has had in 19 years.

I began to realize from this passage that it’s not that the doors aren’t opening, it’s that I think I have been knocking in the wrong place.

More specifically (and personally), I’ve been seeking my own solutions to problems instead of turning to the Lord, asking him for direction & knocking on His door first before I waste my time at others.

I want to encourage you to not feel hopeless, to not feel as though you’ve knocked on every door because you haven’t, there’s always one more door and I want you to “knock there.”

P.s.   Most of you have probably heard of Les Misérables in the context of the stunning broadway musical. Well guess what? They’re making the musical into a film full of unbelievable casting & it’s coming out December 14th. I cannot wait!

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