By Gustave Flaubert
I nominated this novel for our book club after a conversation with a friend, David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos. I asked him if he had any suggestions for us, and he said, "My favorite book is Madame Bovary." I figured if it's good enough for David Chase, it's good enough for us. We had such an intense discussion that night. Some people, especially the guys, couldn't stand Emma Bovary. They thought she was despicable; I think she's completely compelling. She's unbelievably ambitious with absolutely no outlet for her pent-up frustration. And then there's the guy who writes the Dear John letter, dripping water on it to make it seem as if he'd been crying. These people are so wicked, but in the end, so human.