madame bovary by g flaubert

I’m not sure how I feel about this book.  As classic as it is, perhaps if I had read it two or three decades ago, it would’ve been a lot more intriguing.  But because we now live in a world where the definition of love is that it doesn’t have a definition, and the commitment to monogamy is close to a thin sheet of ice, the supposedly provocative subject matter of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary isn’t as shocking or unacceptable.  It is, however, psychologically intense.

Emma Bovary finds herself trapped in a boring marriage life to an older, mediocre doctor.  To liberate herself from the banality of provincial life, she passionately and rebelliously lusts over a younger man for a love affair.  But as nothing in life lasts forever, the affair too comes to a bitter end and further disappoints Emma’s fantasy about romance and reputable men.  So what next?  As the rumor of her love affair slowly finds its way to her husband’s ears, Emma feels doomed, embarrassed, and helpless.  She feels even more trapped and suffocates as the walls of her reality gradually closes her within.  It drags a bit in the middle, but if you’re into details you may not be tempted to skip a few pages like I did.  There are a few twists and turns in the plot but just a heads up that it’s not really the best book to read if you’re feeling blue or depressed.

dee’s rec: 3/5

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