My first book of the year is The Doctor’s Wife by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. I read her sensational novel, Lady Audley’s Secret, a few years ago and it remains a favorite. I’ve been meaning to read more by her for ages, so when I discovered The Doctor’s Wife on Girl eBooks, I snatched it up and put it on my new Nook Tablet.
It is delicious and everything I expect of Ms. Braddon.
But for the pure and perfect love which makes marraige thrice holy,-the love which counts no sacrifice too great, no suffering too bitter,-the love which knows no change but death, and seems instinct with such divinity that death can be but its apotheosis,-such love as this had no place in Isabel Sleaford’s heart. Her books had given her some vague idea of this grand passion, and on comparing herself with Lucy Ashton and Zulieka, with Amy Robsart and Florence Dombey and Medora, she began to think that the poets and novelists were all in the wrong, and that there were no heroes or heroines upon this commonplace earth.
The Doctor’s Wife is Braddon’s rewriting of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. I’m wishing I’d read Madame Bovary before I read this, so that I could compare, but the one time I tried to read it my eyes rolled back in my head and I drooled a little bit. Just. couldn’t. do. it. I may try again, however, because I am enjoying the heck out of this book and am feeling extremely sorry for George Gilbert, the simple country surgeon who has fallen in love with the above mentioned Isabel Sleaford, who, as you can tell, doesn’t exact reciprocate his feelings. Of course, maybe it’s good that I haven’t read MB, because I don’t know what’s going to happen. If I had, I would probably have a better idea, instead of the vague notion that something BAD is going to happen; thanks to the foreshadowing on page 66. Brrrr, it was chilly!
Okay, I’m off to read more. Reading anything good today?