Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Random House (April 14, 2015)
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg has written a lush historical novel based on the sensuous Parisian life of the nineteenth-century writer George Sand—which is perfect for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.
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?
Brilliantly written in luminous prose, and with remarkable insights into the heart and mind of a literary force, The Dream Lover tells the unforgettable story of a courageous, irresistible woman.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble
Aurore Dupin was born into a tumultuous family in early 19th century France. As an adult, she left her husband, moved to Paris, dressed in men’s clothing and made her dream of having a career in writing come true, under the name of George Sand. She lived a scandalous life for the time; left a number of affairs in her wake, was a free thinker, and placed her career before family.
I did not really know anything about George Sand going into this novel, except that she was a writer. So, for me this book was extremely informative. The Dream Lover follows George’s life from birth to death in alternating, first-person narratives of her childhood and adulthood. At first, this style offers a fast paced read with a lot of insight into the way George’s upbringing affects her decisions in the future. As the timelines came closer together, it became a little more difficult to delineate the two. The passages are very detailed, accounting for many of George’s affairs and many intimate moments in her life. I did feel a strong sense of place throughout the book and enjoyed reading about 19th century Paris as well as all of George’s contemporaries including Chopin, Musset, Liszt, Hugo and Browning. I felt a strong sense that George was independent and intelligent; however, I did not feel a strong connection with her.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including Tapestry of Fortunes, The Last Time I Saw You, Home Safe, The Year of Pleasures,and Dream When You’re Feeling Blue, as well as two collections of short stories and two works of nonfiction. Open House was an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for an Abby Award, and The Pull of the Moon was adapted into a play. Berg has been honored by both the Boston Public Library and the Chicago Public Library. She is a popular speaker at venues around the country, and her work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. She is the founder of Writing Matters, a reading series designed to serve author, audience, and community. She divides her time between Chicago and San Francisco.