The movie is all over theaters, all over the internet. But the story goes back much further than the musical. It goes back to a classic book that picked up one of the roughest time periods in French history and tore it wide open.
Victor Hugo bravely faced the gutters of society and masterfully wrote a beautiful grace-filled story.
Jean Valjean is imprisoned for stealing bread for his starving family. After he is freed, many years later, he really does become the thief he never wanted to be. Then, in a grace-filled turn of events, the priest he steals from grants him mercy. And life changes.
These events set the backdrop for a story filled with the gritty filth of sin and the pure glory of grace. Over and over, good faces off with evil. And grace wins.
We know this to be true from the Bible. In the book of John we are told,
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it. 1:5 NLT
Because of the reality that is faced in the story, it is impossible to create a kid-friendly version. However, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre has come as close as you can get. The Audio Drama is so well done, you will be able to listen to it again and again.
I would not suggest it for little ones but I would not be afraid to introduce it to older children. It is a perfect door-opener for some of the difficult topics that our young people need to face, as well as a perfect illustration of grace.
I, personally, love radio dramas and wish I could afford to own every single one produced by Focus on the Family. They utilized such a range of talented actors and the CD’s, rather than a movie, offer the perfect backdrop to house work or a trip in the car.
If you’re looking for a way to experience Les Miserables this option is one of the best!
*this 3 CD set was sent to me by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.