The Dream Lover

The Dream Lover

A Novel

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER

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.
 
Advance praise for The Dream Lover
 
"In her masterly new novel, Elizabeth Berg inhabits the adventurous heart of George Sand, making sense of a puzzling legend who dared to live and write against the grain." --Nancy Horan
 
" The Dream Lover --what a bold, insightful, and enticing novel. And how vigorously Elizabeth Berg brings us the iconoclastic life of George Sand. Berg writes with such intimacy and compassion that I think she must have some shared ancestral DNA with Sand. I savored every page." --Frances Mayes
 
"What a rich, heartbreaking, triumphant novel Elizabeth Berg has written! I recommend reading it with a highlighter in hand to mark the insights about love and life and being a woman that are on every page so you can reread and savor them." --Ann Hood
 
" The Dream Lover is a historical novel at once expansively researched yet intimately imagined. George Sand may be the ultimate Berg heroine. 'A life not lived in truth,' Berg writes, 'is a life forfeited.' In this latest work, Elizabeth Berg has poured her own great gifts and her own great heart into the story of a woman determined to refuse any such forfeiture, no matter the cost." --Leah Hager Cohen
 
" The Dream Lover is the dream match of writer to subject, Elizabeth Berg animating George Sand so vividly that you feel the Frenchwoman speaking directly to you. Infamous for her eccentricities and her passions, Sand is shown to be a touching figure, a woman needing to love and be loved." --Robin Black
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2015
ISBN: 9780812993158
Branch Call Number: BER
Characteristics: 356 p. ;,24 cm

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b
belalin
Jul 26, 2017

Excellent book. The author draws a vibrant portrait of the life and times (mids 1850s France) of George Sand. The book is heart warming to read as Sand is deeply loving fascinating free spirit.

a
anyothergirl
Jan 14, 2017

A lovely, lovely book. At times I had the thought "your research is showing," and I found some narrative choices a bit too tidy, but wished the end had been a little tidier. Overall it was a beautiful book I'd happily hand to a friend to read. The voice pulled you along and the variety of people in Sand's life was interesting, as well as their dynamics. Sand was imminently relatable as a person.

f
foxylady31
Jan 02, 2016

Only read a little over half.. It became boring and mondune.. I did not enjoy enough to finished it.

Catmamakim Jun 19, 2015

Quite beautifully written. A lengthy description of the life of George Sand... basically a biography with not much of a storyline. An interesting look into gender roles and society in the early 19th century.

h
HopeButterfly
Jun 18, 2015

Excellent historical fiction book on George Sand. I felt I was living through it. Wonderful book....

c
CecileSune
May 22, 2015

The Dream Lover is a historical fiction based on George Sand’s life. The French author had a very unusual life marred by tragedy and heartbreak, but also full of love and art. She was ahead of her time, a free spirit who didn’t shy away from leaving her husband or wearing trousers. In addition, she was a very successful writer and rubbed elbows with brilliant artists, including Honore de Balzac, Alfred de Musset, Marie Dorval, Eugene Delacroix, Frederic Chopin, and Gustave Flaubert. The book tells her story from her birth in 1804 to her death in 1876.

The Dream Lover came about when Elizabeth Berg read interesting facts about George Sand in The Writer’s Almanac and realized that there were not a lot of books written about the French novelist. So she contacted her friend Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank and asked her to write a book about George Sand. Nancy had just finished a novel, and she didn’t feel like writing another one just yet, so she told Elizabeth to do it herself. But Elizabeth had never written historical fiction before so it was a challenge for her. To prepare, she read George Sand’s autobiography, as well as her travel journals, and letters.

I must say that Elizabeth Berg ended up doing a wonderful job. The Dream Lover is a fascinating look into George Sand’s life. The story is told in the first person which brings the reader closer to the main character. Chapters alternate between George Sand’s unhappy childhood and her life as a writer in Paris. The reader learns about all the wonderful artists of the time, as well as a bit about the tumultuous politic climate of the 19th century. However, I thought that there were too many characters in the story, and it was sometimes confusing and hard to keep track of everyone. In the end though, the book was an absorbing read about a woman who spent her life looking for love.

The Dream Lover was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.

madison382 May 19, 2015

I have read all of Ms. Berg's previous books and enjoyed them immensely, this one was different and I was a bit apprenhensive about an historical novel by her, but because I know that she is an excellent writer, I decided to stick to this book and was not disappointed.

rowanquincy May 09, 2015

I have enjoyed reading this author's books but this one is a miss. I just couldn't get connected to it and was so bored I gave up early on.

m
marthabwaters
Apr 08, 2015

This fictionalized account of the life of 19th century French author George Sand is, to me, a perfect example of why writing historical fiction about real subjects is so tricky. The book is clearly meticulously researched, but it always feels somewhat distant from its subject, as though it were merely relaying the major moments of Sand's life instead of letting the reader fully emotionally engage with them. It's still a fairly interesting read, and there are moments when the book really shines, but a more limited focus might have served the author well.

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