Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
A mesmerizing tale of art and passion in Belle Époque France.
As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.
Rodin’s Lover brings to life the volatile love affair between one of the era’s greatest artists and a woman entwined in a tragic dilemma she cannot escape.
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Camille Claudel aspires to be an artist, a profession in which women did not often practice in 1890's France. With a disapproving mother, but supportive father, the family moves to Paris so Camille can attend an art school which will accept women under the advice of sculptor Alfred Boucher, who sees a great talent in Camille. With schooling, Camille's talent flourishes but she also becomes obsessed with her work. When her tutor, Alfred Boucher must leave, he asks Auguste Rodin to take over instruction for Camille. At this point, Camille's work becomes inspirational, but a love affair with Rodin causes her to lose her grip with reality.
I wasn't quite sure that I would enjoy the subject matter of this book, but I liked the time period that Rodin's Lover was set in and I enjoyed Becoming Josephine, so I gave it a try. I ended up loving it. I was completely captured by Camille's character. She is a little wild and fiercely independent, she does not care at all for the standards of women at her time. At first, she just seems like a woman born into the wrong time period. As Camille begins to become absorbed in her artwork and she begins an affair with Rodin, we see a gradual dissent into illness. There is a created tension of what Camille believes and what is actually happening that adds a layer of suspense. In addition to just learning about Camille's life, I was also thrown into Belle Epoque Paris as Camille and Rodin visit different Salons and encounter other artists of the time. Most of all, after reading this book I appreciated learning about Camille's life and was inspired to look at more of her artwork.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
Heather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time novel writing and freelance editing. Her debut, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, released January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. Her forthcoming novel, RODIN’S LOVER, will release in winter of 2015.
When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.
For more information, please visit Heather’s website. She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb), on Facebook, or via her blog. Stop on by!