Madame Bovary scandalized(If you are scandalized by someone's behaviour, you disapprove of it and are shocked by it because you think it is against moral laws) its readers when it was first published in 1857. And the story itself remains as fresh today as when it was first written, a work that remains unsurpassed(better than anyone or anything else) in its unveiling(to remove a covering like a curtain from a new structure at a formal ceremony in order to show the opening or finishing of a new building or work of art) of character and society. It tells the tragic(very sad, often involving death and suffering) story of the romantic but empty-headed Emma Rouault.
When Emma marries Charles Bovary, she imagines she will pass into the life of luxury and passion(a very powerful feeling, for example of sexual attraction, love, hate, anger, or other emotion) that she reads about in sentimental(A sentimental person is strongly influenced by emotional feelings, especially about happy memories of past events or relationships with other people, rather than by careful thought and judgment based on facts) novels and women's magazines. But Charles is an ordinary country doctor, and provincial life is very different from the romantic excitement for which she yearns(to wish very strongly, especially for something that you cannot have or something that is very difficult to have). In her quest to realize her dreams she takes a lover, Rodolphe, and begins a devastating(causing a lot of damage or destruction) spiral(a shape made up of curves, each one above or wider than the one before) into deceit(keeping the truth hidden, especially to get an advantage) and despair. And Flaubert captures every step of this catastrophe(a sudden event that causes very great trouble or destruction) with sharp-eyed detail and a wonderfully subtle(not loud, bright, noticeable, or obvious in any way) understanding of human emotions.