Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: Madame Bovary's Daughter by Linda Urbach

Summary: Picking up after the shattering end of Gustave Flaubert’s classic, Madame Bovary, this beguiling novel imagines an answer to the question Whatever happened to Emma Bovary’s orphaned daughter?
One year after her mother’s suicide and just one day after her father’s brokenhearted demise, twelve-year-old Berthe Bovary is sent to live on her grandmother’s impoverished farm. Amid the beauty of the French countryside, Berthe models for the painter Jean-François Millet, but fate has more in store for her than a quiet life of simple pleasures. Berthe’s determination to rise above her mother’s scandalous past will take her from the dangerous cotton mills of Lille to a convent in Rouen to the wealth and glamour of nineteenth-century Paris. There, as an apprentice to famed fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth, Berthe is ushered into the high society of which she once only dreamed. But even as the praise for her couture gowns steadily rises, she still yearns for the one thing her mother never had: the love of someone she loves in return.

Brilliantly integrating one of classic literature’s fictional creations with real historical figures, Madame Bovary’s Daughter is an uncommon coming-of-age tale, a splendid excursionn through the rags and the riches of French fashion, and a sweeping novel of poverty and wealth, passion and revenge.

Review: I wan't that big of a fan of Madame Bovary because Emma's selfish way of life annoyed me so much, but I think that's why I enjoyed this book about her daughter so much. Berthe didn't like the way her mother had lived and spent her life, so starting from right after her parents died, she decided to have a life the opposite of her mother's. I love historical romances, and this book had every aspect of historical books that I love. It had the old fashioned society with gowns and balls. There was passion, affairs, scandal, and secrets (basically everything that made the 1800s a juicy time to read about). This book had some boring moments, but I loved following Berthe's life as it passed through the four different sections of the story. I really liked how even though Berthe had no one, she wasn't afraid to put herself out there and make something of herself. Her passion for fashion (haha, that rhymed :) ) was so much fun to read about and I really admired how she loved something so much, even if her life wasn't at the best of times. Madame Bovary's Daughter is definitely a historical romance that is intriguing to read and a great, juicy follow up to the old classic.


  1. Thanks for introducing me to this book! I hadn't heard of it, but Madame Bovary is one of my favourite books. I know, everybody always hates Emma, but I've always sympathised with how much she wanted life to be like the romances she read in books. I was like that as a child/teen, although Emma really should have grown out of it! Anyway, a story about the daughter is something I have to read. Thanks again; this is going on my wishlist!

  2. I don't normally read that many historical romances, but I would love to start :P This sounds like a great book to begin with.

  3. This book sounds fascinating- I like how you commented that it was great to read from the daughter's point of view. Curious to read this one!

    I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.

    Take care-
    Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out why that happens sometimes and I can't fix it. :)

  4. Jessica,
    I really love your review. I just published my review on this book. Check it out. I really enjoyed reading it, I could barly put the book down.
    Isabella-book Garden Reviews


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