{Giveaway!} Guest Post: Linda Urbach, author of Madame Bovary’s Daughter

Have you heard of the scandalous Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert? His first published novel in 1850, and it was a pioneering one at that. And the scandal! The criticism of social classes, the affairs..Flaubert himself was hit with an immorality charge when Madame Bovary was serialized in a literary magazine.

I am looking forward to learning more of this intriguing story, and I will review Madame Bovary’s Daughter here on Burton Book Review this summer. I asked the author to elaborate on a few key topics for her potential readers. Please welcome author Linda Urbach to Burton Book Review with her introduction to her newest novel, and she is offering up a giveaway, too!

Why I wrote Madame Bovary’s Daughter.
When I encountered the novel Madame Bovary for the first time in my early twenties I thought: how sad, how tragic. Poor, poor Emma Bovary. Her husband was a bore, she was desperately in love with another man (make that two men), and she craved another life; one that she could never afford (I perhaps saw a parallel to my own life here). Finally, tragically, she committed suicide. It took her almost a week of agony to die from the arsenic she’d ingested.

But twenty- five years later and as the mother of a very cherished daughter, I reread Madame Bovary. And now I had a different take altogether: What was this woman thinking? What kind of wife would repeatedly cheat on her hardworking husband and spend all her family’s money on a lavish wardrobe for herself and gifts for her man of the moment; most important of all, what kind of mother was she?

It was almost as if she (Berthe Bovary) came to me in the middle of the night and said, “please tell my story.” Having adopted my beautiful daughter at age 2/12 days I had a big soft spot in my heart for the orphan Berthe Bovary. I totally sympathized with her lack of mother love. Also, I remembered how much I loved Paris when I lived there. I had a strong desire to return– which I was able to do in my head as I wrote the novel.

The research and writing process of Madame Bovary’s Daughter.

This is the first historical fiction I’ve ever written, so research played a big part. My first two novels were all about me but my life had gotten very boring which is why I turned to historical fiction. I used the Internet almost extensively. I found sites where I could walk through Parisian mansions of the times. Sites that not only showed what women wore but also gave instructions on how to create the gowns that were popular. I bought this great book, Mrs. Beeton’s Household Management which gives you details of absolutely everything you need to know about the running of a house in the 1850’s. You want to serve a 12-course dinner, she’ll tell you how. She’ll also tell you how many servants you need and how many pounds of paté you need to order.

The thing about research is you have to be careful not to let research get in the way of the writing. I tended to get so interested and involved in reading about the Victorian times and France in the 1850’s I would find the whole day had gone by and I hadn’t written a word. So the important thing for me is making sure I’ve got the story going forward. That’s the work part. The fun part is then filling in the historic details. It’s like I have to finish my dinner before I’ve earned my dessert. The other thing about research is that I learned to keep room open for a character I hadn’t thought about before. For example, I suddenly came across the famous couturier Charles Frederick Worth, an Englishman who went to Paris and revolutionized the fashion business. He jumped off the page at me and insisted on being part of my novel. So my advice to writers is always keep a place at the table of your book for an unexpected guest.

Release date: July 26, 2011

Summary of Madame Bovary’s Daughter

What you may remember about Madame Bovary is that she was disappointed in her marriage, shopped a great deal, drove her family into bankruptcy, was abandoned by two lovers, and finally took her own life. With all that drama, who even remembers she had a daughter?

And what ever happened to the only, lonely daughter of the scandalous Madame Bovary? Poor Berthe Bovary. She was neglected, unloved, orphaned and sold into servitude before the age of 13. It seems even Flaubert didn’t have much time for her. She was the most insignificant and ignored character in that great classic novel.

But in Madame Bovary’s Daughter we see how Berthe used the lessons she learned from her faithless, feckless, materialistic mother to overcome extreme adversity and yes, triumph in the end. As a young girl, Berthe becomes a model for famed artist Jean Francois Millet, later a friend to a young German named Levi Strauss and finally a business associate of Charles Frederick Worth, the world’s first courtier.

This is a Sex and the Cité tale of a beautiful woman who goes from rags to riches, from sackcloth to satin, from bed to business. Busy as she is, she still has time to wreak revenge on the one man who broke her mother’s heart. And, of course to have her own heart broken as well.

From her grandmother’s farm, to the cotton mills to the rich society of Paris, it is a constant struggle to not repeat her mother’s mistakes. She is determined not to end up “like mother, like daughter”. And yet she is in a lifelong search for the “mother love” she never had.

Berthe Bovary is a Victorian forerunner of the modern self-made woman.

~~Thanks so much to Linda Urbach for introducing us to her new novel! If this novel intrigues you as much as it does me, then sign up for the giveaway! The author is offering one lucky follower their own copy of Madame Bovary’s Daughter, open to the USA. Please leave me your email address in the comments as well. Giveaway ends 7/16/11.

Don’t forget to Follow:

EDIT to add that I have finished the novel (LOVED it) and you can read my review here at Burton Book Review.



Filed under 2011 Releases, Victorian

25 responses to “{Giveaway!} Guest Post: Linda Urbach, author of Madame Bovary’s Daughter

  1. Wow…what a fanastic guest post and now I really want to read this book. I've never been a fan of the victorian era when it comes to reading because I've never liked all the era's "rules" and snobbery…I'm sorta a rebel…lol Ya know…not one to follow anyones rules or to seek anyones approval. I also never knew that Madame Bovary had a daughter and after reading about how selfish the mother was…I'm really interested in the daughter's will to survive and beat the odds. I'm such a sucker for strong women who beat the odds. Thanks for the giveaway and best of luck on the release. Fondly, Robertarlphilbr13@aol.com

  2. I loved this guest post! I am very much due for a reread of Madame Bovary because I'm sure my opinions of Emma would be different now, too — I love that this was the springboard and inspiration for Ms Urbach's novel. My thanks to you, Marie, and Ms Urbach for this great guest post.I've been eying this book for forever and a day — so thank you for the giveaway, too!audraunabridgedchick at gmail.com

  3. I read Madame Bovary many, many years ago and was very impressed by the writing and not very tuned into Madame's selfish neglectful of her daughter. Looking forward to reading this exciting new book, so full of historic detail.ArlettaDawdyarletta_dawdy@yahoo.com

  4. Love this guest post! I read Madame Bovary years ago(but will go dig it up again!) You betcha this one one about her daughter sounds intriguing!! I soo want to read this.I'm sooo sad that this is not a Canada-included giveaway.Hugs to you Marie:)

  5. Enjoyed this guest post. The novel sounds great, and what a beautiful cover! Thanks for the giveaway.lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Madame Bovary was one of those books I missed during school, unfortunately. Madame Bovary's Daughter sounds very interesting, so I guess the original book has to move up a few notches on my TBR list. Thank you for the giveaway!vanessanicole21 at yahoo dot com

  7. I remember reading Madame Bovary in high school… when I saw this one a few weeks back, I knew I had to read it. Thanks for this great guest post!!! readingwithpassion(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. I haven't read anything about Madame Bovary and this book sounds good. Great post as usual Marie! Thanksmomkelly2003(at)yahoo(dot)com

  9. I'm not a huge fan of Madame Bovary but after reading this post, I'm very curious to pick up the book.

  10. I loved Madame Bovary, I would love to add Madame Bovary' Daughter it sounds just wounderful. thank you for the chance to win grams of 20 rosepedal60@gmail.com

  11. I have had this book on my TBR list ever since I first heard about it. After reading your interview, I am even more intrigued to read this one. Thanks for a great interview!tmrtini at gmail dot com

  12. Great writing advice from Ms. Urbach. I always like to hear about a writer's process. This book sounds really amazing. I hope I win! Thanks for the chance. =O)truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom

  13. I can imagine reading something in my early twenties (or even in my teens) and going back now–I'm 32–and reading again. How we expand and learn! This sounds interesting, though I've never read the classic before. Great interview!

  14. I read Madame Bovary in high school and would love to read what happened to her daughter as per the author. Love the idea of the daughter being "the Victorian Forerunner of the self made woman.I am very excited about this book.CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

  15. I understand about the research. I've often gotten caught up in reading and reading when I should be writing!The original novel I've been meaning to read forever!runaway84(at)gmail.com

  16. OMG, I love the sound of this."Berthe Bovary is a Victorian forerunner of the modern self-made woman." You hooked me with this statement.(\___/)(='.'=) (")_(")alterlisa AT yahoo DOT comhttp://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

  17. I love when authors give us the background to their writing of the stories we read and enjoy. It makes them seem that much more special. Thanks for the giveaway!candc320@gmail.com

  18. How fascinating! I've not read Madame Bovary but I think it will now go on my list. I would love to read this bookkaiminani at gmail dot come

  19. This is one of those novels I've heard of but never read. Now I want to read both novels, but I can tell right off I'm going to feel more for the daughter than mother.Theresa Nweceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

  20. I enjoyed Madame Bovary and would love to read this one. Thanks for your kind offer.

  21. Awesome post! I would love to be entered in the giveaway! I'm having a lovely time exploring your blog. :)bharbin07[at]gmail[dot]comThanks!Beth

  22. It's been years since I read Madame Bovary, and I should read it again. Glad to read that poor Berthe triumphed against all odds. I would love to enter the giveaway!diamantina @ gmail dot com

  23. This book has caught my attention. I have not read Madame Bovary but it is on my "to read soon on audiobook" list. And I think the cover is beautiful. I would love to be entered for this giveaway.dolleygurl[at]hotmail[dot]com

  24. I put this in my wish list over the weekend and caught up on my email today to find the Burton Review. Of course I jumped ahead and opened it first and then just had to click on the link. As a daughter who was abused by her mother, I've always felt bad for Berthe. I am happy to see her finally get some attention and look forward to seeing where Linda Urbach takes her story.DaSwee94 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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