I found “The Dream Lover” to be a beautifully written book. While much has always been made of the scandalous life that Sand led, this book shows her romantic heart, her fragility and lifelong search for love. Even though it’s a novel based on her life and not a biography and the author states in her afterword that there are many inconsistencies about the facts of Sand’s life, the author creates her own vision of Sand based on her research and brings her to life in this heart wrenching book.
I thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous scenes that Elizabeth Berg painted with words. The gardens of France, the beauty and energy of Paris, Sand’s affinity with birds and nature were all eloquently envisioned. I do feel that the author placed too much emphasis on the many love affairs, almost to the point where it seemed that Sand couldn’t meet a man she didn’t fall in love with. But the book is entitled “The Dream Lover” and I think the emphasis of the book was on Sand’s constant need and search for love.
What I found very frustrating about this book is that the author chose not to tell Sand’s story in sequence but instead bounced back and forth from Sand’s life as an adult in Paris to her life as a child growing up in the French countryside. The book fluctuates between Paris in 1831, back to her childhood starting with her birth in 1804, gradually catching up to 1831, when finally the book proceeds in chronological order. I no sooner became engrossed in what was happening in a certain part of her life when I was abruptly plunged to a different time, sometimes in only a matter of a few pages. The author does start off each section with the month and year to help the reader keep track but I do believe the book would have flowed better if told in the order that it happened.
All in all, though, I thought this was a very well-written account of the passionate life of George Sand and I would recommend it to any lover of historical literary fiction.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.