Saturday, January 13, 2007

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

This is the first classic book I have read for that challenge even though I never formally signed up for it. LOL Oh, well. Here is my review:

Emma Rouault is a woman who is used to getting what she wants. She has a full life with her papa until he gets sick. She sends for a doctor and Charles Bovary comes to help. Mr. Rouault is cured and Emma sees Charles in a whole new light. Charles and Emma get married after Charles’ mourning period for his first wife is over. But the honeymoon feeling Emma has quickly passes and she begins to wonder what she has done. Her final triumph turns into a disaster, in her mind, when she gives birth to a daughter. She seeks outside attention from three different men but none of them ever work out and she is left wanting more. Being in debt is the final thing that tears her apart from her husband. She wonders if things will ever get better and if Charles will ever be successful.

This is my first book by Gustave Flaubert. I have been told this book is a classic and I can see how. It has themes from that time dealing with lovers and merchants. Things were done differently. I enjoyed his writing style because very few words were used. He didn’t do elaborate descriptions though at times, they are needed. That was not the case in this book. He got his point across with his opinion of women who cheat on their husbands. What reason would there be for Emma dying suddenly but that Flaubert’s opinion was that they should not be alive. But yet at the same time he had no problem with Charles being so dependant on his mother. I didn’t understand why Charles had to keep writing to his mother where he should really be talking to his wife Emma. I was upset with how Emma kept going to her lovers and asking for help. But in her mind, there wasn’t anything else she could do because she was so desperate.

I did not care for any characters in the book except for Berthe. She was the daughter of Charles and Emma. This little girl didn’t understand what was going on and so suffered for it. Plus the practice of sending her off as a baby to a wet nurse in another house really upset me. I know some women wanted to have a wet nurse but I didn’t understand why Berthe could not have at least lived in the same house as they did. Emma’s visits to Berthe were not enough and I really felt how Emma disliked the fact that Berthe had been a girl and not a boy. I also understand and can relate how women even today are some what held back in life. Yes we can vote but some things take awhile to change and could take awhile longer. That is just part of life and I am able to accept it. I felt sorrow for Berthe because she never really got to know her mother before she died. That was hard enough without the rest of the ending of the book. She seemed resilient from the little that was told about her in the book.
Madame Bovary was an interesting read. Certainly not one I would want to again because after awhile it was just depressing with how Emma had to figure out a way to pay the debts without Charles finding out. It became too complicated. I would not even recommend this book because it was just simply awful to read. There were times when the storyline focused on other characters I felt a little too much and not really focusing on Madame Bovary when I thought it should since the book was named after her. I would give this a 2/5 because I really did not care for it.

Now I am reading Drop Shot by Harlan Coben. It is the second book in his Myron Bolitar series. :)


booklogged said...

Hello, LoB. Did you mean NOT to sign up for the classics challenge? You left a comment and a link, so I added you to the list of participants. Was I not suppose to?

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed Madame Bovary. It's on my list and had heard good things about it. I really need quit messing around with other things and get reading. Usually Jan. is the best reading month, but this year I'm in a slump.

Lover of Books said...

Yes you were. lol I don't even remember doing that. ROFLOL Okay the mind is going or something. I'm too young! :)

I did enoy it but well I am glad it is done. lol

Lotus Reads said...

Hello, LOB

I've read Mme. Bovary twice and listened to it on audio once. I loved it the first couple of times -felt terribly sad for Emma Bovary and the life she chose for herself, but when I listened to it on audio recently I realized what a self-centered, selfish woman she really was! Can't believe it took me three readings to come to that conclusion! :)

Lover of Books said...

LOL Lotus it's okay. I just knew she was and didn't surprise me right away. I also couldn't believe how far she went with some things.