“Excess of grief, like excess of joy is a violent thing which lasts but a short time. The heart of man cannot remain long in one extremity.”
In the teeming city of medieval Paris lives Quasimodo, a man born with a hunchback who lives in the Notre Dame Cathedral as a bellringer. He is treated despicably by everyone around him, save for Esmeralda, a beautiful woman who has attracted the eyes of many in Paris. His love for Esmeralda will drive him to do daring feats of bravery to keep her safe from the world and those who would harm her, even if it leads to his own undoing.
The story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is complex and beautiful, with a great emphasis on exposing the power struggles that were prevalent in this era of France between the impoverished and the religious elite. It also deals with the inhumane treatments of various ethnicities represented in the pages and the injustices of the legal system of the day. Perhaps most of all, the book is a love letter from Victor Hugo to the Gothic architecture of the time, with extensive descriptions of the artistry and beauty found in the stone walls of the cathedrals of Paris.