A few weeks ago I finished Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. It is a book where once you get about 2/3 through, you don’t really want to finish it, because there seems to be no way it could turn out right in the end.
It centers around a girl name Tess, who through chance encounters with certain people, bad luck, a lack of common sense, and people being jerks has just about everything go wrong for her (and her family). I guess the problems start with her obedience to her parents and end with her no longer being obedient to her conscience. Anyway, it was a depressing book, and what I got from it is that sometimes people never get what they really deserve and then they die.
So, a depressing post for a depressing book. Also, there is no sense of redemptive suffering at all in the book. I suppose if Tess had not lost her faith through the unkindness of those she trusted, she may have at least had hope. Jean Valjean did no get a chance to save this Fantine, and the Jean Valjean who should have, could have, saved her failed to take the opportunity. So, maybe we can remember that sometimes it is too late to help someone, and help them when we have the chance.