Friday, July 15, 2016

The Dream Lover

The Dream Lover
A Novel of George Sand
Elizabeth Berg
Random House Book
New York, New York
ISBN: 978-081299152
$ 28.00
368 pages

"There is only one happiness in life, to loved and to be loved."
George Sand was of the few women throughout history who followed her dreams and desires without consideration of society's rules.   She liberated herself at a time when females were considered property.   She wore trousers, left her children, wrote books that were admired even by Balzac, lost her inheritance to her husband when she divorced him, how could this person survive in the world of France in mid-1800s?   This woman who wrote under the name of a man while living with her personal standards and not society's.  I was curious about any woman who held Chopin spellbound.
George Sand was born Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin but usually was called Aurore. Her mother had been beautiful attracting the attention of many men.   Unfortunately, she was not of the class of people of her father creating animosity between her mother and grandmother.
Living in the French countryside, she grew up as a daughter of privilege.  Her father came from a well-respected family who fell in love with a beautiful woman.  Aurore was the result of their marriage.
Aurore's  mother was not well accepted by her husband's family, especially after his death.  While her mother pursued a new life in Paris,  Aurore lived with her grandmother.
Although brilliant and rebellious, Aurore married a man who gave her the expected status of prosperous French wife.  Quickly she became the mother of a son, Maurice and a daughter, Solange.
Aurore quickly learned that she was given a brilliance mind with her gift for creating realistic characters in her writing which completely opposed her life as a wife and mother.  Added to that was her daringness to write what no other female had ever written even pushing her contemporaries to higher levels.
"It is expected that people who are not artists might not understand the need for one to immerse oneself totally in one's work, but it also sometimes happens that other artists feel no compunctions about interrupting, or in feeling slighted that one's attention is not focused on them first and foremost.  What jealousy can be inspired by a person's singular devotion to something the other cannot share!  It was a concern for Liszt, I knew, who had once confided to me that it was difficult to play the piano with a woman's arms around his neck."
George Sand changed literature with her writing while at the same time influencing much of the writers of her time and memorably, her time with Chopin.
"Music is limited, too: to the power of the instrument, to the power
the musician's imagination, to one's ability to let go of conscious thought in favor of an unseen power."
The Dream Lover is a fictional account based on George Sand who and her with her rebellious attitude socially, even being accused of a lesbian relationship, who strongly influenced the world through her writings.   Elizabeth Berg beautifully captures both the objectivity of this larger than life personality along with her beautiful gift of writing.

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