Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Book Review)

Madame BovaryMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s society’s fault, this consuming, materialistic, competitive society that knows so little of the value of a good heart and simple contentment. We all spend so much time and energy trying to have it all and giving the impression that we already do, that our lives are perfect. See, don’t you wish you were me? Emma spends the moments and the hours and the days of her life like franc coins, to have this and that and the other, because as soon as this is hers she can truly be happy.

I’m not being judgy. I spent far too much time like this (and I hate to admit it but I still fall into it sometimes), convinced I was the only person in the world whose life was a mess and trying to fix it with the result of fucking it up worse, because that’s how the-grass-is-always-greener works.

Or, it could just be that Emma was the original Desperate Housewife/Drama Queen. But her story is so beautifully written, it can’t be anything less than romantic tragedy.

It amuses me that this book was so controversial that Flaubert stood trial for obscenity. Seriously. To be considered risque in France, wouldn’t a book have to be really something? Not really. It speaks of sensual delights quite elegantly, but obscene – no.

New things:

Machineel tree: also called little apple of death, beach apple. Native to southern tropical North America and northern South America, terrifically poisonous

Ladies putting their gloves in their glasses: Table mannerism indicating they do not wish to be served wine

Bookshelves: banned-and-challenged, classic, literature-with-a-capital-l, romantic-tragedy-with-a-sigh, social-commentary, translated-to-english

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Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

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