Linked up at ebookclassics.
Yay, I finished! Let's talk about it. It will probably be filled with spoilers, so if you haven't read Madame Bovary, I advise you ignore this post.
Did Emma learn her lesson? I'm not sure. (I have a big thing for people learning their lessons, as you can see from the second book featured in THIS post.) She had some moments of revelation where she realized that maybe she wasn't headed in the right direction, but her desires and selfishness soon pushed those moments into the back of her mind.
Emma and Leon's relationship solidified what I said in my last update. Emma will NEVER be satisfied. She thinks once she gets Leon, she'll be happy, but even then, there are thousands of troubles that just won't go away. Emma always needs novelty, and her relationship with Leon grows old. Leon is getting tired of her continuous needs, even to the point of noticing that the other men at his office are talking about how Emma is a bad influence on him. She always wants to be in a relationship that is in that phase of passionate first love, and doesn't understand the concept of a calmer, constant love that does not always need to be manifested by grandiose romantic gestures.
Poor, poor Charles. All he wanted was to be the beloved father and husband in a happy family - is that too much to ask? He seems to have bad luck in picking out wives. His first one is too old and he doesn't really love her, and his second one is unfaithful and flighty. Emma is Charles's downfall. She spends all his money and makes him go bankrupt. She thinks she knows how to deal with financial matters, but, in the long term, she doesn't. Selfishness! UGH. My heart broke for Charles when he found out that Emma had been cheating on him. His last hope had vanished.
The end of the book seemed to drag on a bit. We get it - Emma's dead. The book could have ended there, maybe with a short Epilogue to show how everything turned out. We did NOT need all that detail afterwards. Do we care that the pharmacist got the Legion of Honor?
So, overall, a good read, though I can't exactly pinpoint how I feel about it. It was more of a character study than a story, and could have been shorter than it was (cut off a few chapters at the end, maybe?).
What did you think of it?
Here are my previous updates: