Title: The Dream Lover
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Elizabeth Berg
Publisher: Random House, April 2015
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 4
Description from Amazon.com:
At the beginning of this powerful novel, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family’s estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she gives herself a new name—George Sand—and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle. Paris in the nineteenth century comes vividly alive, illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society. Sand’s many lovers and friends include Frédéric Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugène Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Marie Dorval, and Alfred de Musset. As Sand welcomes fame and friendship, she fights to overcome heartbreak and prejudice, failure and loss. Though considered the most gifted genius of her time, she works to reconcile the pain of her childhood, of disturbing relationships with her mother and daughter, and of her intimacies with women and men. Will the life she longs for always be just out of reach—a dream? **
I have a love/annoyed relationship with this novel. I loved the prose that brought to life this complex woman who we know as George Sand, born Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin. I found this genius-woman to be fascinating in her ability to accept society’s censure of her behavior. She was able to do this by keeping herself to a wide circle of likeminded friends and lovers. I loved the way George could throw herself into love affairs and care deeply about the lover even after the affair ended. She was addicted to being in love and always searching for the forever-love. Of course, I have no idea if this is actually how George felt because this is a novelization of her life.
What annoyed me about the book was the time jumps from George’s adult life to her childhood. I think I would have enjoyed this novel even more if it had been written in a linear fashion. With every other chapter jumping back and forth it was at times confusing and took me out of the story. I also wanted to know more about her first husband Casimir and because this book was written in the first person from George’s point of view we are left to wonder about him.
As an introduction to the life of George Sand this is a good book. I was compelled to read page after page trying to understand the mind of this famous woman. Since it is a novel I think biographies would add even more to my understanding.
This is a painting of George Sand and her lover, Frederic Chopin by Delecroix. (All mentioned in this novel)