The novel that Rory was reading the week before; her total absorption in the novel is what Dean says first attracted him to Rory. The debut work of French author Gustave Flaubert and first published in 1857, it is considered a literary masterpiece.
Madame Bovary is about a beautiful well-educated young woman who finds herself trapped in a dull marriage to a village doctor. Her longing for romance, fostered by reading popular novels, leads her into affairs with other men, with tragic results. The theme of infidelity is one which will be important in Rory and Dean’s relationship, and the hint is right there in the pilot.