I didn't grow very attached to this book, but I still really liked reading it. This translation is extremely readable, and Flaubert's style is so clear and attentive. So much of the description in the narrative is wonderful, the settings all extremely knowable. In general the author's view became the most compelling aspect: this book basically seems to be about people being tragically stupid. No one here is very nice, nor worthy of niceness, and though that's depressing, it's not without truth. Flaubert's eye is merciless, and still he seems to pity the fools.<br/><br/>Even though she's mostly unsympathetic, Emma never stops being interesting to read about. Her relationships are sort of compelling, and Charles is a great character. The last few sections make the book's message pretty clear, though it is awfully grim. Folks are a letdown. And luxury is sort of a joke. Um, yay.