Nancy's Reviews > Madame Bovary's Daughter

Madame Bovary's Daughter by Linda Urbach
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's review
Jul 26, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, book-club, historical
Read in July, 2011

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 compelling heroine. She had some of the elements of the gritty female characters in John Wayne Westerns:
. . . she wasn't afraid to get dirty;
. . . she didn't feel sorry for herself;
. . . she didn't depend on her beauty for her identity;
. . . she did what she needed to do to survive;
. . . and, most important, she had confidence in her own abilities.

The result was a compelling page-turner that took us from a rural French farm to the depressing fabric mills of Lille and on to the glory of 19th Century Paris and the salon of Charles Frederick Worth. I enjoyed every gritty aspect of Berthe Bovary's coming of age except the conclusion of the novel. It just required too much suspension of disbelief for me to accept the ending that Urbach wrote--but it didn't diminish my pleasure in this interesting historical novel.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Wally That was one of the books I hoped to win from Goodreads. Would you loan it to me please? I can get it this fall when I see you.

Nancy I'll be happy to share it with you! (and hope you enjoy it as much as I did).

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