Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Flaubert tells a tragicomic satire of social excess, focusing on a respected, moneyed woman who squanders her livelihood and family fortune on whims and excesses.
Slow-moving yet commanding, the author's storytelling blossoms into stunning revelations and watershed denouements. She strives to deceive her husband, lover and shopkeeper with whom she racks up credit bills, but ends up only punishing herself. There are definite parallels to our time of easy credit and rapid inflation.
I left fulfilled but somewhat disappointed. I expected to be shaken and moved by a classic of such a reputation, but instead got the equivalent of a solid but unastonishing beach read. I recommend reading it but with dampened expectations.
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