MADAME BOVARY by Gustave Flaubert

Reviewed by Liam Hegarty, Guilty Conscience Book Group

Madame Bovary(March 12, 2004) Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary is the tale of a rural middle-class housewife's descent into dissatisfaction, depression, adultery, bankruptcy and ultimately suicide.

Although the general consensus of our group was that it was an enjoyable book, there was some difference of opinion concerning the essential nature of some of the characters. Was Emma Bovary simply a "cruel woman" or was she merely thoughtless, acting at the whim of her own particular character flaws. Could her husband have done more? Could he have given her that nameless something extra she wanted? Was he blameless or also at fault for the tragedy that befell his family?

The group also wondered what would happen to Emma Bovary today. Would modern psychology and medications solved her problems?

Note: The Guilty Conscience Book Group is open to all and meets at the Larchmont Public Library on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm. The purpose of the group, according to its flyer, is to "facilitate the reading of works of fiction and nonfiction, the neglect of which has caused heartache to members of the group." Books selected are held on reserve at the Library for participants (a service that is available to all clubs). Contact Reference Librarian Liam Hegarty for details at 834-2281.

FROM THE EDITORS: We'd love to hear from other Larchmont readers. Take the Book poll and add your comments.

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