Jean Val­jean in Les Mis­er­ables by Vic­tor Hugo

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Reads - – Ter­ence Toh

WHO doesn’t love a bad boy gone good? Con­vict-turned-hero Jean Val­jean is prob­a­bly one of the best fa­thers in lit­er­a­ture.

Val­jean may not be the bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther of Cosette, the young girl sud­denly thrown into his care. Yet he still looks after her with love and de­vo­tion as a sin­gle fa­ther, just be­cause he made a prom­ise to her dy­ing mother. And that gives him tons of ex­tra Great Dad points (24,601 of them, prob­a­bly?) in my book.

From his hum­ble be­gin­nings as an ex-pris­oner, Val­jean climbs the ranks, be­com­ing a rich, com­pas­sion­ate, and no­ble man who man­ages to pro­vide a won­der­ful life for Cosette.

Yes, he is a lit­tle over­pro­tec­tive when the love­struck Mar­ius comes to woo his daugh­ter, but let’s face it, what fa­ther isn’t in sit­u­a­tions like this?

And then he joins a rev­o­lu­tion to find Mar­ius even when it may cost him his life. Val­jean’s got guts! Bonus traits are he’s su­per strong, is a good marks­man, and (ac­cord­ing to the mu­si­cal) has a lovely singing voice. Any lovelorn lady would love to take him home (ahem) to look after their chil­dren to­gether.

Val­jean (Hugh Jack­man) tak­ing great care of Cosette (Is­abelle Allen) in this scene from the movie adap­ta­tion of the book. — Univer­sal Pic­tures

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