In 19th century France, a struggling single mother, Fantine, leaves her three-year-old daughter Cosette in the care of her new acquaintances, the Thernadiers. Unfortunately, Cosette's caretakers prove to be anything but loving, and the poor girl is subjected to repeated abuse and forced servitude. Still, she endures the torment in the hopes of seeing her mother once again.
One night, while doing errands for her host family, Cosette is assisted by an honorable stranger named Jean Valjean. After a brief conversation with the young girl, Jean acknowledges her as the type of person he has been seeking and rescues her from the clutches of the Thernadiers. They make their way to a nearby town where Cosette enjoys a new life thanks to her savior.
Under Jean's guidance, Cosette promises to help others with her newfound freedom. She pledges to heal the nation, ensuring that no one else suffers her fate. Though the road ahead is paved with tragedies left by the French Revolution, this idealistic girl will not rest until France is freed from poverty and suffering.