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Madame Bovary's Daughter

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  295 ratings  ·  67 reviews
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
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ebook, 499 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jill

3.5 stars

Was any daughter ever cursed with a mother such as hers? A self-centered, social-climbing, materialistic, coldhearted, calculating adulteress. Oh, yes, and she disliked children, too.

In 1852, twelve year-old Berthe Bovary becomes an orphan upon the death of her father. Her mother having committed suicide by ingesting poison a year earlier, and her father dying from a broken heart. Based on the 1857 French classic Madame Bovary by Gaustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary's Daughter tells the sto
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Jeannie Walker
I think this is a wonderful, and very well-written historical romance.
Was any daughter ever cursed with a mother such as hers?
I am sad to say, yes, there are other daughters who were cursed to have such a mother. I know, as I was one of those unfortunate girls to be born to such a mother. However, I don't think my own mother disliked children, she just had a particular hatred for me- the reason is something I am still looking for.
I also know about poison: My millionaire ex-husband was poisoned
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Diane Lockward
I absolutely adore the original Madame Bovary and used to teach it to AP English Lit students. I enjoyed this sequel for the most part. It was fun to reencounter familiar characters and see how Urbach created her own plot threads, picking up where Flaubert left off. But I was disappointed by the ending. The author simply fails to provide a resolution. Instead, she just stops writing. Also, I couldn't help thinking that she must have taken a workshop on How To Write Sex Scenes. Flaubert knew how ...more
Nancy
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel that I received as a First Reads selection.

It is very challenging for an author to reprise a character from another writer's books. Too often they are crassly commercial and disappointing from a literary perspective. This imagined history of Madame Bovary's orphaned daughter could be criticized as not much more than a tragic Cinderella story but it has so much heart that the rags-to-riches element was easily acceptable to me.

I found Berthe Bovary a very compellin
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Jessica
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 pa ...more
Holly Weiss
What a fabulous idea for a book! What happened to the ignored, orphaned daughter after her adulterous mother, Madame Bovary, committed suicide? Madame Bovary's Daughter: A Novel of Fashion and Fortune is the story of a daughter determined to distance herself from her infamous mother. Berthe remembers every rosette and bow on her mother's gowns, but no kind words or affection. She carries a photograph of her mother in a gorgeous white tulle gown from place to place, noticing how the seams are pl ...more
Susanna
Whatever description of this book's plot that you read, it's probably oversimplified. Madame Bovary's Daughter consists of four parts, each spanning about two years: Berthe's stay at her grandmother's farm, her time spent working at a cotton mill, her tenure as an upstairs housemaid in a wealthy Parisian home, and her fashion career as it begins at Worth's. Covering a wide array of settings and social positions, Urbach packs a ton of information into less than 500 pages. She occasionally takes s ...more
Darlene Foster
It is not easy to take a minor character from a much loved classic and create great a story, but Linda Howard Urbach does it beautifully in this novel about Berthe, Madame Bovary’s neglected daughter. This story has everything I love in it; fashion, history, art, food, Paris, sex and friendship. It is a fun read which holds your interest as you follow the determined Berthe from the French countryside, to the streets of nineteenth century Paris, the hazardous cotton mills and the elegant fashion ...more
Kyle Wendy Skultety (gimmethatbook.com)
From the moment I started reading this, I knew it was going to be wonderful. I did not need to have prior knowledge of the original Madame Bovary to grasp what the characters were about. Filled with humor, pathos, intrigue, and luxurious descriptions of the burgeoning fashion industry in Paris, this novel is a quick and easy read. I found myself rooting for Mme. Bovary throughout, as she tries to shake off her mother's reputation and make her own way in the world.

Urbach mixes historical and fic
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Jennie
I haven’t read Madame Bovary so maybe that it part of the reason, but I just didn’t click with this book. It wasn’t that I hated it or disliked it completely. I liked it in pieces – like the beginning of Berthe living with her Grandmother, and the portion when she was working with Charles Frederick. Otherwise, I just wasn’t connected or really interested in the plot.



The time period was interesting – the insight into the dangerous cotton mills was written realistically and descriptively. The wor
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Mary
This book is a jumble, orphaned girl, a love story, a woman on her own story, a bit of sex (including rape and homosexual encounters and wife swapping), a bit of history, some comedy, some really lose morals, a bit of reference to Madame Bovary . . . At times, it works and at times it's either too chaotic or just funny. It's the just funny part that saved it for me. Okay, at times the humor (Mr. Worth, a clothes designer, can't speak French well and says the funniest things and some of the sexua ...more
Codymarie Greene`


Madame Bovary's Daughter is a wonderful creation. Berths is a Cinderella turned feminist Victorian in France. She is desperate to not follow in her mother's footsteps of doing anything to obtain passionate love but, soon finds herself in just these sorts of predicaments.

I found the rise of Berthe's character from orphan to savvy business woman a wonderful contrast to the actuality of the role of a woman in France during the 1500's. She is passionate about learning, dreaming and proving to not
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goddess
The writing was good and the story mostly engaging. But it's not something I'd let your teenage daughter read. Even I was blushing at parts. Every hundred pages or so would be something as graphically detailed as you might find in a porno flick. My innocent eyes have been thus polluted. So I figure it would get 4 stars for its quality in story telling and one or two for its decency....which will average out to three.

(Caution: Possibly a few spoilers.)
I'm not sure of the likelihood of being taken
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Evangeline Han
I must say that Madame Bovary's Daughter isn't a book I would read if it had contained a content warning. I had the "uh oh" and "what have I gotten myself into" moments when I was more than a halfway through the novel. But reading this novel has piqued my interest about Emma Bovary although I have never read the famous and controversial 19th century novel Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. How can a mother be so trapped with crafting a world of fantasy that she was out of touch with the real wor ...more
Michelle
I won a copy of this book in the First Reads Giveaways, and I am so glad that I did! I absolutely loved every page of it! It had everything...history, fashion, love, sex, scandal, AND those notorious characters from Madame Bovary. Considering Madame Bovary's feeling towards Berthe, I always wondered what would become of the poor child and this book was a great look into what could have happened. A lot of times these "sequel" books deviate from the original feeling and storyline into something th ...more
Becca
I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway, and it's a good thing too - it got me to cross a classic off my list because I figured I should read Madame Bovary first. ;)

I enjoyed the writing, thought the characters were well-written and believable (for the most part), and thought the story followed Madame Bovary pretty well.
(Actually, it helped me understand Madame Bovary more than just reading it - she cleared some stuff up for me.)

However, I thought the end was pretty bad. Horrible, even.
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Alice
I really enjoyed most of this book. While I always think it's kind of cheap to write a sequel to a novel that is already popular, Urbach does a wonderful job of referencing the former work, while creating a new one that is entirely her own. The tale of Berthe's rise from impoverished orphan to a well-off working girl is quite entertaining.

However, my enthusiasm waned with the last section of the book. Up until then, Berthe's strides to improve herself and move up in life were plausible, though l
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Kate
Since I love Madame Bovary, coming across this title seemed like a wonderful way to carry on the story. It purports to be a sequel, detailing what happens to Berthe Bovary after her mother's suicide. However, it has very little to do with anything in the Flaubert masterpiece.

Rodolphe, Madame Bovary's lover, reappears, entirely recast from his careless, playboy self, into a mean-spirited rapist. The elder Madame Bovary becomes a French peasant version of the wicked stepmother in Cinderella. And r
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Randye Kaye
When I take a book off my nightstand (I usually read before bed, when I finally have time) and bring it downstairs to the living room so I can spend a Sunday morning with its characters, I know that it has grabbed me. That's what happened with "Madame Bovary's Daughter" - I really rooted for Berthe, and cared about everyone she meets in her journey from victim to accomplished heroine. Along the way, I got a glimpse of life as Berthe knew it - and rediscovered my gratitude for the opportunities I ...more
Doriane
I was overwhelmed by this book. It's still hard to write review of this book because I still live with it.
When I started reading it, I thought it will be just regular love story, but I was so wrong. I couldn't put it down so easily. I finished it in 10 days because it took my heart. I was crying, laughing and blushing while reading. I cannot believe it this book was standing in my shelf for over a year and I forgot to read it. It fascinated me same as the original "Madame Bovary". It's heartbre
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Alicia
This novel was unexpectedly fantastic.

I've never read Madame Bovary, so I didn't know anything about her story. After a quick Wiki-catchup, I quickly understood what was going on and jumped right in.

Berthe's story is almost too fantastic to be true. Her luck holds out no matter what, and while she hits a rough patch (or five), she always manages to land on-top of her situation and continues to climb the social ladders.

There was no utterly moving romance or excessively compelling relationship
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Ashley
I got this book as a free book from The Random House Publishing and as my thanks to them for sharing this book with me for free, I'm choosing to write a review. Madame Bovary frustrated me something horrible, watching a woman make mistake after mistake relying on someone else to help her along and always reaching for more than she was able to have without the means to achieve it. Madame Bovary's Daughter however was a novel that, at times, I struggled to put down. It seemed fate was against our ...more
Stacey
I really enjoyed this in an indulgent sort of way. Aside from the numerous instances of incredible coincidences, unrealistic upward mobility, and hyper real relationships, it's a very good read.

It definitely fits my definition of a summer book, however. Literary fiction it may aim to be (and this is indeed a noble enough cause) but the overbearing and codependent style of romance and the somewhat perpetual feeling of righteous indignation made me feel like it belonged to a genre with more levit
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Jodi
An enjoyable read overall. I have never read "Madame Bovary" but after reading this book, maybe I should put it on my to-read list! I defenintely felt sorry for Berthe and all her hardships at such a young life but I am so glad she overcame them all. I was sad when she had to resort to theft a few times but I also realize that she had no choice in order to survive - a true statement for this point in history (1850s). Sometimes it was hard to stomach all the fantastical things Berthe had happen t ...more
Sue
This is the story of a young orphan, Berthe Bovary, and her journey from poverty to a comfortable living as a dress designer. The setting is 1853 France. She has to overcome the legacy of her mother's scandalous past and lavish tastes that left the family penniless. I found myself cheering her on as she started working in a textile factory to eke out a meager existence, and managed to rise above her circumstances to become a very successful dress designer. Since women in those days could only be ...more
Amanda
While I really enjoyed reading this book, and found the idea of chronicling the life of Emma Bovary's child something that piqued my interest right away, I felt that Berthe's character, as well as some major plot points, were overly sentimental and too consciously wrought. However, the links between instances in Madame Bovary and Berthe's "remembrances" of them in this novel were well structured, and came across as very psychologically true. Also included in the characters are painter Millet, de ...more
Shannon
I won a copy of this book in the First Reads Giveaways, and I am so glad that I did! I absolutely loved it! I haven't read anything by this author previously, but will definitely look to see what else she has written! I couldn't put it down - the book follows the journey of Berthe Bovary after the suicide of her (in)famous mother Madame Bovary and the subsequent death of her father. It had everything I love in books - drama, fiction, fashion, historical notes! I read it in one setting, always ex ...more
Andi Winterfield
I won a copy of Madame Bovary’s Daughter from Goodreads First Reads. Heartache and beauty fill this novel from beginning to end as the orphaned Berthe Bovary makes her way through life. While I struggled with the continuous triumph and tragedy throughout Berthe’s life, and felt the ending left something to be desired, I still found it very hard to put this book down. It is extremely well written, full of incredible characters and the detailed descriptions of the gowns are spectacular. Linda Urba ...more
Caitlin
Berthe was a frustrating character at times but it is true that she has a very tragic story, and I think that Urbach did a fine job of imagining how Berthe would behave and what traits she'd possess as a result of her tragic early childhood and the fact that she was raised by Madame Bovary. I've actually never read the original book but now I really would like to! I enjoyed reading about Berthe's journeys and her forays into fashion. I thought that was a fun part of this novel that made it a bit ...more
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