Madame Bovary's Daughter

Madame Bovary's Daughter

A Novel

Book - 2011
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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.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks, c2011
ISBN: 9780385343879
Branch Call Number: FIC URBAC
Additional Contributors: Flaubert, Gustave 1821-1880


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Jun 20, 2012

A good light read, the kind of chick lit that you don`t have to be embarrassed to be seen with! And the textile descriptions are yummy.

Chitownchica Jan 19, 2012

Great historical fiction read, but it did take me a little while to get into it because I felt like the sympathy that the author wanted you to have for Berthe, right off the bat, was forced. The idea that she just fell into the life she had, in the end, was not really believable, but I like the way it happened regardless.

Nov 03, 2011

Urbach's premise is fantastic: what became of little Berthe Bovary after her parents' death? She starts off well by having Berthe meet the famous painter Millet and from there weaves fiction and reality. The descriptions of the living and working conditions are lively and precise, both in the country and the city. Berthe's exposure to couture and fashion is likely with delightful details on styles, innovations and fabrics. The story is told with a lot of panache and the characters are often multifaceted and intriguing.

There are, however, many weaknesses: the villanous Rodolphe Boulanger is a laughable caricature of his counterpart in the original novel, Berthe's ascension requires much suspended disbelief, not to mention her unquestioned status as a single mother under the Restauration and some of the intrusions of history into the plot, particularly Levi Strauss's apparition, are sometimes stretched.

A summer read full of passion and generally solid entertainment, but completely without the original's touching emotivity.

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