A passionate and powerful novel based on the scandalous life of the French novelist George Sand, her famous lovers, untraditional Parisian lifestyle, and bestselling novels in Paris during the 1830s and 40s.
This major departure for bestseller Berg is for listeners of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.
George Sand was a 19th century French novelist known not only for her novels but even more for her scandalous behavior. After leaving her estranged husband, Sand moved to Paris where she wrote, wore men's clothing, smoked cigars, and had love affairs with famous men and an actress named Marie. In an era of incredible artistic talent, Sand was the most famous female writer of her time. Her lovers and friends included Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more.
In a major departure, Elizabeth Berg has created a gorgeous novel about the life of George Sand, written in luminous prose, with exquisite insight into the heart and mind of a woman who was considered the most passionate and gifted genius of her time.
©2015 Elizabeth Berg (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I've always loved Elizabeth Berg's writing.
Unfortunately, with The Dream Lover, not so much.
But it may be me, because this is the second novel I've quit after partially listening to. I did give it about 6 hours of listening but found my mind wandering.... there was plenty of great descriptive prose, good dialogue, but where the heck the story line was supposed to live, was beyond me.
(Again, like in The Night Circus, lots of writing, no conflict. At least not early enough into the book to hook me beyond 6-8 hours of waiting. Waiting... for some element that held the flashbacks to the childhood of George Sand and her present day goings-on to make me want to see what happened next.)
Some of the inner thoughts Berg writes for Sand are a little predictable. Thoughts about womens' rights, etc. But humans are more complex that the standard current PC about issues with which we still concern ourselves today. (It seems I'm running into far too many books that expose an historical character thinking in today's terms, when I'm sure that some flaws must exist in their souls...Or the author, in a rush to prove they themselves are not biased, refuses to interject any controversial viewpoints into the protagonist, even if historically reflective of the book's time period.) Anyway.
If this book picked up after I put it down, apologies. But my brother once told me that life was too short for bad books. So, whereas in the past, I drudged through a book because I hated the waste of an author's time, since they even managed to get a book written and published, I now hate the waste of my time even more.
I read critical reviews about the narrator, but the story was in first person about George Sand, who described herself in the book as having a flat and unemotional voice. I decided the narrative was perfect for the character.
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
I devoured this book. I haven't read Sand's books, but I've been intrigued by her for a long time. I'm practically devout on Chopin, so it was interesting to read her side of the story.
This was a well done, imaginative look into how it all could have happened, I felt like a fly on the wall. This book is an excellent example of show / don't tell. Glad I didn't wait too long to read it.
Even today, I see women hesitating, holding back, doing and saying what is "expected" rather than what is in their hearts, simply because they are afraid. I'm astounded and amazed at Sand's bravery. I'm in love with the French, yet again. They completely embraced her. And the author clearly gets the inner turmoil of the writer/ artist. Oh to have been in that set, and to write to that music live.
I'm not much of a Balzac fan, but Hugo is near the top of my list. Guess I need to read Sand to see if what they say is true.
I did not know of George Sands. Now I have listened and been taken alongside her life. The story just flowed and unfolded. It was warmly narrated as I felt the teller was relating the quite emboldened woman's antics just to me. Quite a story! I enjoyed knowing about her relationship to Frederick Chopin.
A beautifully written, poetic story about a woman who chose her destiny and lived life to the fullest. Thoroughly enjoyable, if you enjoy historical novels this is the one to read.
I usually love Elizabeth Berg but try as I might, I cannot get through this book. My mind wanders, I had trouble keeping track of the characters and the era. I restarted the book from the beginning 3 times and still I can't get through it. Perhaps I will try it in print.
Couldn't get to it.
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