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Madame Bovary's Daughter

A Novel

Linda Urbach

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Description

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 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.

Brilliantly integrating one of classic literature’s fictional creations with real historical figures, Madame Bovary’s Daughter is an uncommon coming-of-age tale, a splendid excursion through the rags and the riches of French fashion, and a sweeping novel of poverty and wealth, passion and revenge.

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Publishers Weekly Review

20 June 2011 – Urbach's third novel, the first under her own name, skillfully continues Flaubert's story with 12-year-old Berthe at her father's funeral. Charles Bovary, destroyed by his wife Emma's death, has left Berthe a penniless orphan. Unlike her narcissistic mother and weak-willed father, Berthe is determined to succeed. Taken in—reluctantly—by her petulant Bovary grandmother, Berthe learns to cook, clean house and tend livestock, hoping for some approval. Instead, her grandmother dies, and Berthe is reduced to working long hours in a textile mill until her beauty catches the eye of Monsieur Rappelais, the mill owner. She refuses the order to join his household staff in Paris, but forced to accept, the position of lady's maid to Madame Rappelais becomes Berthe's salvation. She's praised for her fine needlework and careful attention, and the painful memories of her mother's silliness and destructive affairs keep her focused on her ambitions and her reputation as she rejects her mistress's invitation to sexual games. Flaubert disapproved of the romanticism of the bourgeois; Urbach follows his lead with a moral fable and coming-of-age tale in which hard work and fine workmanship are valued and rewarded. An entertaining romance for readers of historical fiction; if it drives them back to Flaubert, all the better.
Madame Bovary's Daughter
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  • 12,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: 26 July 2011
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 512 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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