The Tale of Two Parisian Outsiders Who Find Each Other...Finally
The primary star of this 500-plus-page novel is Paris, which is such an obvious and exquisite setting for romance. This story, though, happens to take place circa 1500, way before the Eiffel Tower, bohemian cafes or any of the other images we associate with the City of Light (and Love). Esmeralda is totally enchanting—a tiny gypsy dancer and the only person who shows poor hunchbacked Quasimodo human kindness. Their admiration for each other isn't immediately obvious, nor is it present throughout the story, but, of course, they end up dying for each other (and what's a beautiful love story without a beautiful tragedy?).