6 tremendous fiction books for fans of the new 'Les Miserables' movie

6 tremendous fiction books for fans of the new 'Les Miserables' movie

Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — If you were one of the many who flocked to the theater this past Christmas to see the new "Les Miserables" movie, with tissues in hand and high expectations, this book list is for you. These books, like the classic "Les Mis," contain rich, historical detail, tear-inducing tragedy, heartbreaking emotion and stories that stand the test of time.

Keep those tissues handy.

1. “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas

The tragic and triumphant story of Edmond Dantes has been thrilling readers since 1844. After he is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Edmond focuses his time, talents and efforts on planning and exacting revenge on those that were responsible for his exile. If you have the endurance to last the lengthy 1,276 pages, this is an excellent read.

2. “The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom

Seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a grand plantation, fresh from a ship from Ireland. Orphaned, her only option is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, immediately takes in the young white girl and treats her as one of her own. When Lavinia is older, she is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is never home and the mistress battles opium addiction. Caught between two worlds, Lavinia must chose a side, absorb horrible truths and watch as the lives of those she loves are threatened.

This tragic story, full of suspense, emotion and tender moments, will make your heart ache and swell at the same time.

Content note: This book contains violence, some sexuality and some foul language.

3. “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden

This unforgettable book takes the reader into a world where appearances, tradition and ceremony are paramount. A life where women are trained to seduce the most powerful of men in Japan, expect their virginity to be sold to the highest bidder and never look for love. As affecting as it is beautiful, this story takes the reader into a world few Westerners know anything about. An emotional whirlwind that will linger in your mind for years after you’ve read the last page.

Content note: This book contains some sexuality and mild violence.

4. “Going After Cacciato” by Tim O’Brien

The Vietnam War is a complex, dark and controversial piece of American history. Many have said that “Going After Cacciato” is one of the best fictional books written about the war. This incredibly moving, haunting and disturbing story follows the experiences of one young private and is much more than a war novel. It’s a brilliant and vivid exploration of the forces of good and evil, fear and heroism that are an elusive part of us all.

Content note: This book contains war violence, disturbing images and situations, and foul language including use of the F-word.

5. “The Thorn Birds” by Colleen McCullough

This best-seller and emotional favorite will tear at your heart. Set in the romantic but harsh Australian Outback, this is a story of forbidden love, terrible struggles and deep passion. Meggie Cleary, daughter of a sheep herder, falls madly in love with Ralph de Bricassart, a parish priest with lofty dreams of Vatican grandeur. Sworn to celibacy, Ralph must push Meggie away and endure a fight with his passion that will haunt him his entire life.

6. “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell

Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler — does it get more epic? This grand Southern novel of a nation morally divided, society in chaos, love, loss and the will to survive manages to tug at every heart string. Scarlet’s high society plantation life is full of parties, big dresses and her favorite pastime of manipulating the people around her. But when the country is pulled into the Civil War, her lifestyle is ripped away. She must fight to survive and choose which man she truly loves.

Praised for more than 75 years, “Gone with the Wind” is beautifully written, perfectly conceived and unforgettable.

Did you love the "Les Miserables" movie or are you loyal to Broadway? Come share your thoughts on my Facebook page.

About the Author: Teri Harman

*Teri Harman, author and book enthusiast, writes a biweekly column for ksl.com and also contributes book-related segments to Studio 5. Her debut novel, "Blood Moon," comes out June 22, 2013. Find her online at teriharman.com**

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