Book Reviews

Book Review: Madame Bovary

Madame BovaryMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a novel well ahead of its time, or perhaps, it was a novel that captured a theme that transcends time.

Every now and then it is truly nourishing for an avid reader/ author to delve into the classics. In Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert captures vividly the essence of ennui expressed predominantly through the action of a 19th century housewife Emma Bovary. I found the fragments of her thoughts, her fantasies and her irresponsible ideals far too familiar in modern men and women.

It is well worth noting how Flaubert, in his debut novel expertly details the life of a woman; a protagonist of the opposite sex. He also uses Emma to test the boundaries of feminine/ masculine position in society. “…he was becoming her mistress, far more than she was his…” This was no mean feat in a time where male/female roles are clearly defined and overlaps are rare.

Like all true masterpieces, every character is well developed, multi-dimensional and flawed. There are no simplistic hero/heroine; the demise of all not caused by a single villain. One could easily re-cast the story in modern day society and the plot would be equally convincing.

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