George Sand was a woman born before her time. Highly intelligent and sensual, she dreamed of living in a world where she could express herself artistically as well as find ultimate satisfaction in love. Born Aurore Dupin during a party thrown by her parents, she started life out highly unconventional. Her father was descended from royalty and her mother was a beautiful courtesan. Raised by her grandmother at her country estate, Nohant, Aurore longs to be loved. After she discovers that her marriage does not satisfy her longing for love or her ability to artistically express herself, she separates from her husband and lives in Paris with her lover. Her writing career starts at this point and she trades off with her husband for caring for their two children in the countryside or living in Paris. In Paris, Aurore takes the pen name George Sand and starts to write novels that take the country by storm. She also takes many lovers and explores the boundaries of love.
I knew nothing about George Sand before I read this historical fiction novel besides the fact that she liked to dress in men’s clothing and wrote novels. I enjoyed learning her story and was quite scandalized myself at what kind of life she lived in 19th century France. I am a fan of Elizabeth Berg and have enjoyed a few of her previous novels. This book is a departure for her into the realm of historical fiction. I enjoyed it; I thought the prose and descriptions were wonderful. I also enjoyed that the story started with George leaving the country for the city and then would flash back to her birth and youth. I enjoyed both timelines and learning how George became the woman she was.
As a woman, I think it’s sad that mostly what George Sand is remembered for now is her outlandish style and her many love affairs. I’m putting it on my list that I need to read one of her novels for myself. Why have I read novels from her French male contemporaries, but none of her novels?
Overall, I found The Dream Lover to be a fascinating look at the life of a fascinating woman, George Sand.
Book Source: Review Copy from Random House. I read this book as a part of TLC Book Tours. A complete listing of all of the stops on the tour is located at this link.
One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg. If you would like to win The Dream Lover, please leave a comment on why it sounds interesting, what you know about George Sand, or your favorite Elizabeth Berg book.
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The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday May 8th.
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