Our Top 20 Best Books of All Time

2. Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert

Madame Bovary tells the bleak story of a marriage that ends in tragedy. Charles Bovary, a good-hearted but dull and unambitious doctor with a meagre practice, marries Emma, a beautiful farm girl raised in a convent. Although she anticipates marriage as a life of adventure, she soon finds that her only excitement derives from the flights of fancy she takes while reading sentimental romantic novels. She grows increasingly bored and unhappy with her middle-class existence, and even the birth of their daughter, Berthe, brings Emma little joy.

When Emma Rouault marries Charles Bovary she imagines she is going to pass into the life of luxury and keenness that she reads about in sentimental novels and women’s magazines. But Charles may be a dull general practitioner, and provincial life is extremely different from the romantic excitement that she yearns.

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We believe Madame Bovary is a must-read for any book lover and lover of history. the book eludes the dawn of modernism.