George Sand, I think you were way too much woman for any one man. What an interesting lady you must've been! The story of Sand's life is endlessly fascinating. From her birth until her death, George Sand surrounded herself with some of the most influential artists, poets, musicians, and writers of all time. Sand's friends included Eugene Delacroix, Honore de Balzac, Franz Liszt, Gustave Flaubert, Alfred de Musset, and Henri de Latouche, the director of the newspaper Le Figaro, who took a chance on Sand and published several articles that she coauthored with Jules Sandeau. Early in her career, Sand published under the pseudonym Jules Sand. Despite being married, Sand had several tumultuous affairs. Her earliest liason was with Jules Sandeau. Its believed that the much younger Sandeau was George's greatest love. Her most famous lover was Chopin and the two carried on together for eight years. When it came to Sand's lovelife, an area she felt she failed in, rumors swirled. Was she a nymphomaniac? Was she a lesbian? Marie Dorval, a well-known french actress, was rumored to have had a brief affair with Sand. Inspired by the lovely Dorval, Sand wrote a play entitled Cosima and Dorval played the lead role. Unfortunately, Dorval was booed offstage, the play was unsuccessful and cancelled after a week. However, the two women remained close friends until Dorval's death. George was, for the most part, able to maintain genuine friendships with past loves but writing was Sand's passion and her one true love.
Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin was born in Paris, in 1804. She was primarily raised by her paternal grandmother at the family home known as Nohant. Aurore, as she was called back then, lost her beloved father when he was killed riding a horse during bad weather. Aurore's relationship with her mother was strained and at the age of thirteen, Aurore was sent to a convent in Paris. While at the convent, she experienced a religious birth and hoped to become a nun. This quickly fizzled out and Aurore returned to Nohant and developed a love for nature and books. She was also a magnificent pianist. It was during her younger years that she was keeping a journal and her love for writing began to surface. In 1822, Aurore married Casimir Dudevant. Together they had two children. The marriage started showing cracks in the foundation and Aurore became disenchanted with her husband. Upon finding a sealed envelope addressed to her, Aurore tore into it and discovered her husband's will. The will included written words to be read after Casimir's death, angry words that tore out her heart. She could not forgive him and announced she was leaving him and the children. In 1831, Aurore was off to make a name for herself and to find the independence she craved. Soon after, she met de Latouche and Sandeau. Aurore Dupin despised the differences between men and women. For example, although Aurore had inherited Nohant, along with a small fortune, society dictated that her husband had control of it all. Casimir allowed her a tiny allowance each month. If she was to survive in Paris, she would have to rely on herself. But being a woman with a writing career was not an easy task. Aurore wanted the same freedom men had. Men had access to better seats at plays, where she often found herself on writing assignments. Not to be deterred, clever Aurore found a way around this and George Sand was born. The doors to freedom were finally opened to Aurore/George. Writing came easily to her and in 1832, under the new pseudonym, Sand found instant fame with her first novel Indiana and eventually her talents were compared to the great Victor Hugo. Her stories and characters often mimicked her life. Like George, her heroines were seeking the perfect romance. Female characters were outspoken, bohemian, fiercely strong and completely self-reliant.
George Sand went on to write many successful books but this story is not about the books she wrote. The Dream Lover details Sand's colorful life. The reader grows up with the young Aurore, hoping that she will finally gain her mother's love and approval. As adults, we move through Paris society, cheering George's many triumphs. We imagine romantic conversations and flirtations George had with admirers and lovers. We witness a woman destined to love, write, and succeed in a man's world. Do i recommend this book? If you love history, family saga, and romance, you will absolutely love this just as much as I did. George Sand...wow!! Way ahead of her time.
"We are all fools in love, all of us, even the strongest among us. Anyone who claims otherwise is worse than a fool: he is a liar." - The Dream Lover
Thank you to Random House and the Edelweiss team for sharing a DRC for review. Great book!!