Frederic Moreau is a law student returning home to Normandy from Paris when he first notices Mme Arnoux, a slender, dark woman several years older than himself. It is the beginning of an infatuation that will last a lifetime. He befriends her husband, an influential businessman, and their paths cross and re-cross over the years. Through financial upheaval, political turmoil, and countless affairs, Mme Arnoux remains the constant, unattainable love of Moreau’s life.
Based on Flaubert’s own youthful passion for an older woman, Sentimental Education blends love story, historical authenticity, and satire to create one of the greatest French novels of the 19th century.