Thursday, February 12, 2009

Best books: Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin is the author of eight novels, including the Orange Prize winner Property and 2007’s Trespass. In October 2008 she recommended "six novels about doomed marriages" for The Week.

One book on her list:
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Penguin, $9).

In this testament to the dangers of a romantic education, Emma Rouault imagines love as “a great rosy-plumaged bird soaring in the splendors of poetic skies,” but husband Charles Bovary’s conversation is “flat as a sidewalk.” One day Rodolphe Boulanger, a local aristocrat, whispers to Emma, “Ah, but there are two moralities.”
Read about the other five titles on Martin's list.

Madame Bovary also made Louis Begley's list of favorite novels about cheating lovers.

--Marshal Zeringue