Rather scandalous in its day to even suggest adultery, it seems extremely mild today. While the story seems rather hackneyed, one must remember that for 1856, this was cutting new ground. Somewhat of an off-kilter romance novel, I'm a bit at a loss to why it makes it so high on the "great books" lists. I found the characters surrounding Madame Bovary and her escapades far more interesting than Madame herself (who seemed to be ready for Freud's approaching couch with her hysterias). The ending will surprise few...though the darker souls will certainly cheer Madame's choice at the end.
Erik’s book reviews
An interesting and entertaining book with moments of unexpected humor among the darkness exemplified by this period of French history. In my opinion, the characters make up for the heavy-handed melodrama and the consistent use of unlikely coincidences to move the plot along. As is usually the case, the book is far better than what can be gleaned from the films or the musical. At times, its a slog...but well worth one's time.