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MADAME BOVARY'S DAUGHTER
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, France
Following in Flaubert’s footsteps, Urbach begins where the famous novel ends and reimagines what happened to the infamous Madame Bovary’s orphaned child. Grand in scope, the story sweeps readers from the French countryside to the cotton mill to the glamour of Paris. Urbach relays a classic tale of rags to riches, tragedy to triumph and passion to vengeance. Saga fans who adore Rosalind Laker and Barbara Taylor Bradford will rejoice.
Days after her mother’s suicide and father’s death, young Berthe goes to live on her grandmother’s farm. Her sweet beauty attracts the attention of painter Jean-François Millet, who includes her in the backdrops of several paintings. Upon her grandmother’s death, Berthe works in the Lille cotton mills.
Her beauty and hard work bring her to the office of the owner, Rappelais. He offers her a position in his Paris house. Berthe grabs at the chance, though she realizes he might want her for his mistress. She’s shocked when his wife appears more interested in her. Berthe has a wonderful sense of fashion, and she begins helping Rappelais. Famed fashion designer Charles Worth sees her talents and she is soon working at the House of Worth. Her designs are coveted, but more than anything, Berthe wants love and continues to search for what her mother never had. (BANTAM, Aug., 512 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed By: Kathe Robin
Published: August 2011