Thursday, February 10, 2011

MADAME BOVARY by Gustave Flaubert


In this classic French novel a passionate young wife falls into debt, adultery and despair in equal measures.


Emma Bovary is a woman who refuses to settle for anything less than fiercely passionate living. She is unwilling to accept the realities of married life in a provincial French town and tries to solve her problems in all the wrong ways. She purchases luxuries she cannot afford and chases men who do not want her as much as she wants the elusive life that they represent.

In this novel Flaubert paints an enticing picture of Emma. She is engaging and seductive, despite the fact that she becomes bored very easily. Several times she tries to fix her mistakes, but she always does too little too late, ultimately succumbing to her desire for more. Her passion and her flaws make her an intensely memorable woman.

Emma, the original desperate housewife, is both frustrating and relatable. Her husband and her lovers never fully understand what drives her actions. She wants to have a life that is bigger and more beautiful than her situation allows, but the consequences of her actions finally catch up with her.


Free Kindle edition


Here is more information about the author and links to his works: Gustave Flaubert


Do you think it is possible to live passionately and be content with your life at the same time?


  1. This is one that I've always meant to read but just never did. I downloaded the kindle app for my phone, so it's good to know it's free through kindle.

  2. Interesting review. Sounds like you have an interesting life. I'd like to live in Hong Kong.
    I read Madame Bovary years ago. A fascinating study on the quintessential self-absorbed person and how a selfish nature can never bring happiness.
    I'm now following you. Feel free to visit my blog as well:

  3. Flaubert is a brilliant writer. Do we think that maybe we read it differently these days from when it was published? It's not so shocking now for Emma Bovary to want more from her life than a husband in a provincial town.

    Answer to your final question? Yes!

  4. Hello Demitria, Sharon and Deborah. Thank you for commenting on my post! I am now following each of your blogs.

    I think we probably do understand Emma differently now. I am sure there have been many women who relate to her regardless of the time, but these days it is much easier for women to do something about their situation than it was then. Her solutions all seemed to involve deception and avoidance of reality.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  5. +JMJ+

    I love your description of Emma Bovary as the original "desperate housewife"! But while she was an unusual character for the day, she wasn't an unusual type. Didn't Flaubert say during his trial that he had met many women who are prevented from turning out like Emma only because of a lack of opportunity or a lack of initiative?

    The last time I read this, I was in high school, so it's due for another reread before I can leave a more meaningful comment. =P


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