The whole time I was reading this book I could not wait to blog about it. There is so much I want to say and I don’t know how to start.
I had wanted to read this book for a while and I found it on sale in the bookshop. I devoured the story in 3 days. However, throughout this devouring I was constantly annoyed at some of the characters, making me read with a scowl on my face and cry out in exasperation.
Charles Bovary is a young doctor who in the middle of the night gets a call to help a farmer who has broken his leg. After fixing the leg Charles is captivated by the farmers daughter Emma. Soon after this meeting, Charles’ wife (horrible, bitter old woman) dies, he then confesses his love and proposes to Emma, the woman of his dreams.
Charles is in a state of marital bliss, though Emma is waiting for the grand feeling of romance she is meant to be feeling. She wants the lightning crashing, the sweaty palms and the butterflies in the stomach when her husband walks in the room. Emma strays outside of the marriage to fulfil her needs.
I could not help but dislike Emma. I thought she was a selfish, irresponsible and devious woman. This sounds very harsh but day in day out her husband adored her, he went to work to earn money to provide her with the lifestyle she used and abused. Charles may have been a simple man but he never once hurt Emma and constantly tried to show his love, which only seem to annoy his wife.
I was angered and upset by the end of the book. Emma got away with all her hurtfulness and wrong doings so easily and Charles (spinelessly) forgave her and her lovers all their wrong doings. I enjoyed this book even though it irritated me because it stirred within me strong feelings. Not of love, longing passions or unrequited love but of annoyance, impatience and a slow burning, all consuming loathing of this woman.
It is a classic and I’m glad I have read it but I’m unsure as to whom to recommend this book to. Read this if you are like Emma and unfulfilled in your relationship or read this if you are like me and love to be repulsed by a character (think Kate/Cathy in ‘East of Eden’).