No, I haven’t read it before.

My latest read was a classic that I haven’t read before, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. My eldest daughter had asked me recently if I had a copy of the novel as she wanted to read it. That request sent me to the library to get a copy to read for myself.

madame bovary

From the cover:

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending adn, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating.

When Flaubert’s erotically charged novel was published in 1857 it caused a moral outcry.

I really enjoyed this novel and throughout the book I kept thinking the character of Emma could be found it the world today.  There are many women who want to exchange the life they lead for the life that they may read about in romantic novels.  Is it wrong to lust after this life or is it morally wrong to actually put that lust into practise?  Emma found the answer in Madame Bovary.

I could sum up the novel by saying we should appreciate what we have and not lust after what, in the end, proves to be worse than what we do have.

Madame Bovary is a book that you will either love or hate depending, I think, on the life you lead.   It is all about Emma’s thoughts and actions, and those who can identify with her will sympathise with her and those who dislike this type of woman will find her selfish and unlikable.

A wonderful piece of literature and one I can include in my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.