The Dream Lover weaves fact with fiction as it takes us on a journey through the life of the French novelist George Sand. For those who don’t know (like me) George Sand was actually a woman who led quite the scandalous life for the 1800’s. She was a woman before her time who believed in equality for women and she just didn’t fit in the norm of your normal housewife of the times. Instead after a failed marriage she went on to have several affairs and live a life that consisted of parties and interaction with many of the important people who traveled in the world of artists. She is most well known for her writing and her affair with the composer Frederic Chopin.
When Sand left her husband she moved to Paris to write and there she began to wear men’s clothing and move in the circles of the people she most desired to associate herself with. She also had affairs with many men and even an actress named Marie. She enjoyed her life as a man because it gave her so much more freedom than she had as a woman. She would go out to cafes with men and sit and talk about plays, art, and writing – all the things that mattered to her. And there were many parties; she talks of parties that would go on until the next day. Her affairs were plentiful but it seemed she chose young men who she ended up having to take care of. The only person it seems she truly loved was the actress Marie but even they didn’t stay together.
The story almost comes across as a journal written by George Sand chronicling her life from childhood to her final days – her days, her writing, and her affairs. She reflects back on the turmoil of her childhood and the disagreements that her mother and grandmother continually had over her until her mother finally just leaves her in the care of her grandmother. I wonder if this didn’t shape the person she becomes in that it always seemed so easy for her to jump from one lover to another. She was always on the search for that one true love that kept alluding her.
I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Berg’s writing and I’ve read more of her books than I can count. I was reading her novels long before I even starting blogging and she’s an amazing writer. Being completely honest though her foray into historical fiction fell a bit flat for me and I think it’s because I just couldn’t like George Sand. She seemed very selfish to me; going from party to party, man to man. Many times when you read of a historical figure you feel some connection to them but I just didn’t feel that here. Really more than anything I felt sorry for her because it seemed that nothing other than her writing was ever truly enough for her.
With that being said it is still an interesting novel for historical fiction fans in that you do learn a lot about George Sand and that’s always a good thing but it didn’t leave me liking her or wanting to know more and that’s disappointing. I just wish I had felt more of a connection with George Sand and her life. What I did enjoy and what kept me interested in the book was that I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith and she really did a fantastic job of bringing the story and especially the time period alive for me. So while this one didn’t completely work for me I’m not sorry I read it and I still love Elizabeth Berg’s writing and look forward to her next novel.
GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS
1 copy of The Dream Lover up for giveaway
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date May 13/15