Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

Every year, I tried to read a few classic novels. My education in high school was somewhat lacking so I'm "playing catch up" with reading classics. I picked up Madame Bovary because it seems to be pretty easily spotted on any recommended reading list and on all the classics shelves.

That being said, I have to say that I really struggled through this book. I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable so throughout the entire novel I felt rather irritated. I also have to admit that I didn't really know what the book was about before I read it, and through the first part I felt bad for Emma. By the end, I thought she was selfish and self-indulgent...I didn't like her at all. Her husband, Charles, who was really devoted to her wasn't even that sympathetic of a character because he came off rather buffoonish.

I read some notes about the novel that said Flaubert was the one of the first novelists to effectively write in the tone of the situation and character he was writing about. I have to agree with that statement. Once I read that, I understood why I was so bored while reading about Emma's boredom! I gave the book 3 stars out of 5 because of this. I thought the writing was well done, but I got tired of the droning on that some of the characters did. I'm glad I carried on and finished the book, but overall it wasn't really in line with my taste in books so I'm not sure that I'd recommend it to anyone.

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