Once Upon A Book – Charlee Rae's Book Reviews

"Books Fall Open, You Fall In"

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert translated by Lydia Davis


I rated this book 1 out of 5 stars

Emma Bovary, a beautiful but bored housewife, is married to Dr. Charles Bovary. She dreams of a life of passion and excitement like she reads in her favorite novels. Instead what she gets is a life of boredom and burdens. In an effort to make things more exciting for herself, she takes drastic action that ends up having tragic consequences for her daughter and husband.

I always have to remind myself that just because a book is a classic, that does not mean it’s going to be good. Such is the case with Madame Bovary….at least for me. People have said the writing style is simply fantastic. Which is true I suppose, assuming you like a style where everything is so descriptive that it takes the author one full page just to describe a dress. It would become so tedious at times that I found myself skimming paragraphs only to discover that the author had gone into another long winded tale of what the tablecloths looked like at a party. And so it went on. I wish I could say that at least the characters were interesting, but that would be a lie.

Emma Bovary is quite honestly one of the most unlikeable characters I have ever run across in a book. That’s saying quite a lot really. She is selfish, shallow, childish, unrealistic, and whiny….and those are her more redeeming qualities. Not one to ever be satisfied, she is always chasing whatever it is that she thinks will make her happy without a single thought in regards to anyone else. The only problem is that nothing makes her happy because she is incapable of happiness. She blames this on everyone but herself. She’s not a good wife or mother. Quite honestly she’s not even a good person. Not that her poor husband fairs much better. Already having been married to what sounded like a shrew of a wife, he is left a widow and you kind of start rooting for him. Hoping that maybe he will meet someone who loves him as much as he is capable of loving someone else. Sadly, that’s when he meets Emma. Not being the brightest man, he doesn’t realize that she only marries him because she is bored. A feeling that never goes away for her. You would feel sorry for him if he wasn’t so completely clueless. There are other characters in the book, but they aren’t very interesting and easily forgettable. Much like this tale will be for me over time.

I guess I should say there is a moral to the story somewhere in there. Be happy with what you have perhaps? I don’t know. I was too bored myself to figure out exactly what it would be. All in all, this was a depressing story about depressing people with a depressing ending. Much like Madame Bovary, there is no satisfaction in reading this book.


Available on Amazon at the link below:

Madame Bovary


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This entry was posted on September 16, 2016 by in Books I've read and tagged , , , .
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