Up this week: The Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand by Elizabeth Berg.
I received an uncorrected proof of this book through the publisher. I am not being compensated in any way for this review. All of the opinions expressed here are my own.
I was hoping that this time around, I’d fall in love with the book I was reviewing. The Dream Lover, a novel based on the scandalous life of the 19th century writer George Sand, seemed promising. Even better was the idea that I would be reading a novel based on an actual person. I’d read the book Frog Music by Emma Donohue recently and really loved it, and that was a novel based on a person too.
The story started out interesting enough, with Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin leaving her husband and children behind to pursue a life of literature in Paris with her writer lover. She adopts the pseudonym “George” to publish her first novel, which brings her instant fame.
Berg uses beautiful, poetic lines and quote-worthy phrases that immerse readers into the feeling that Berg is trying to evoke. I teared up when a character in the book died because the scene was so vivid and well written.
I didn’t finish the book though. Frankly, I got pretty bored.
Each chapter switched back and forth between the past and present, which left me disoriented. I might have had an easier time coping with this if I had a paperback copy of the book, but I only had an ebook to work with. It was hard for me to keep track of what was happening during each time period unless I was reading for hours at a time.
I also think that the ratio for showing vs. telling was a bit skewed towards telling. I would have liked to have been thrown into the middle of the action instead of being told that the character got this job or left on a trip to visit that person. The telling made the story seem more redundant.
This is not the worst book I’ve ever read. I would suggest, however, that those who want to attempt it obtain a hard copy of it in order to make the transitions easier to follow.