I really knew next to nothing about George Sand (born Amantine-Lucile-Aurore) reading The Dream Lover: A Novel As with all historical fiction, I usually read the afterword at the end to see the author’s purpose and tactic for writing about the subject. The author talks about the different approaches one uses with historical fiction, stating that she wanted to “get enough of a sense of one reality in order to create another.” One of the things she mentions that there are inconsistencies about actual facts and occurrences in Sand’s life, which makes for an interesting fiction book, but creates havoc with non-fiction. The one thing she is certain of is that George Sand was an extraordinary woman.
Rather than being written in sequential order, the earlier chapters tend to bounce from a current point in time to a past point in time. The first chapter is 1831 in Nohant, the second chapter is 1804 Paris, then back to 1831 Paris, and then 1805 Paris. It continues like this until the past gets all caught up to around 1834 and then progresses chronologically from there. It’s an usual, but very effective technique - a sort of “this is how I am and this is how I got to be this way.”
George Sand really was a fascinating character, strong, yet vulnerable in her constant searching for love. She chooses to dress like a man to be able to get cheap theatre seats, but then finds she likes the freedom it gives her. She has many affairs, most famous being the one with Frederick Chopin.
I find this whole period of time and the setting fascinating and I found George Sand fascinating, though at times she was frustrating.
I give it my highest compliment for historical fiction in that it makes me want to learn more about George Sand.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
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