Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dream Lover

Book 54 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from August 15 - 25

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg

Summary (via the book jacket)
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 Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene 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?

My Opinion
I didn't know that George Sand was a real person until it started off with an actual quote from her:  "When my submission has been claimed, no longer in the name of love and friendship but by reason of some right or power, I have drawn upon the strength that is buried in my nature, I have straightened my shoulders and thrown off the yoke. I alone know the latent force hidden within me. I alone know how much I grieve and suffer and love."

The pages turn very quickly and the author had an excellent way of knowing when to alternate between time periods.

Even though the two novels I've read so far by Elizabeth Berg were 'like not love' books for me, I will continue to seek her out because I see potential there if I find a book by her with subject matter I can really connect with.

A Few Quotes from the Book
"Everyone knows this simple truth of the heart: Nothing will bring lovers closer together than people trying to keep them apart."

"Had I known what passion would be born in me around living the life of an artist, had I known what absorption and dedication it would require, I might never have married and had children. But I had married. I had borne children. One could not retract the birth of a child or the love for them that came with it. Now I needed to think of the best way to mange all of our needs."

"My true love became my pen, my beautiful apartment, and the pages I stacked up on my desk each night. If I could not fill my days with the kind of affection I still longed for, I would fill them with another, more reliable kind of love, one that engaged my heart, my mind, and my spirit completely, and one that did not betray me."

"Did I love being an artist? Yes. But I had worked because I had to, and not for one instant did I ever underestimate the importance of what a mother can do for her children. Or fail to do."

"And so, what of it all? What of me and my passions and personas, my great loves and failures of love, my writing, my politics? What of the clanging opinions, the endless queries as to the whys and wherefores of how I chose to conduct myself? In the end, there is but one answer to every question, whether it is spit at me or made as gentlest inquiry: I was I."

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