Sonk’s #CBR Review #7: The Fortune of the Rougons by Emile Zola
The book has a lot going on, so it’s hard to give a concise plot summary. Basically, the action takes place in a small town in the South of France at the beginning of the Second Empire under Napoleon III. The main conflict of the novel is that between the Royalists and the Republicans; characters fall on both sides of the divide, and are motivated primarily by their political interests and desire to enact change in the country in one direction or the other. These political interests are closely connected with social climbing and greed; thus the novel can be seen as a meditation on ambition and the desire for power. There’s a lot of political discussion, some romance, and quite a bit of intrigue and scandal–these characters, and some of the plotlines, would not be out of place in a contemporary soap opera.