This novel, loosely inspired by Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, focuses on the life of an upper middle class family in modern day Trinidad.
The island, independent since 1962, still struggles with its multiethnic and multicultural complexities, and is fraught with corruption and violence. The heroine, Mrs. B (Marie Elena Butcher), is fast approaching 50. In her mid-life she is forced to admit that neither Ruthie, her daughter, nor her marriage to Charles Butcher, has met her expectations of being both a mother and a wife. Haunted by an affair with her husband’s best friend, above all Mrs. B knows that she has disappointed herself.
Much like Flaubert’s heroine, Mrs. B’s life is based on longing for what can never be realized and by an inability to adapt to the pressures of her own bourgeois society.
Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw is a Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Literatures, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. She has published various academic titles and her first collection of short stories was published in 2007.
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