- Author: Elizabeth Berg
- ISBN: 9780812993158
- Publisher: Random House
- Genre: Historical Fiction
I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I think George Sand is my spirit animal. I knew of her, but I didn’t know much more than that she was a French author who got her books published under a pen name. I’ve never read any of her novels, but I fully intend to now that I’ve learned what an amazing woman she was, and how much I could relate to her and her life, especially in regards to her relationship with her mother and her heartache from one failed romance after another.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand this is Historical Fiction, but George Sand’s character came to life for me in such a way that I often felt like I was reading an autobiography, which is an experience I’ve never had before. I wouldn’t doubt that Elizabeth Berg had to become George Sand in order to write this book, and I don’t care that not everything in it is factually true and liberties were taken where there wasn’t a consensus on the details. This story is real to me in my heart, and that’s what matters. I sympathized with her during the parts in which I didn’t have a personal experience I could directly relate to hers. I empathized with her during the parts in which I could. I felt for her and cried for her, and I got exasperated with the men in her life when she was forced to figure out ways around them in order to ensure her needs were met. I wanted to comfort her as if she were my younger self in need of comforting. I loved that she defied so many social norms and continued to do so well after her defiance was useful. I also loved that she wasn’t perfect. She made mistakes and she was a little too trusting with her heart and a little too forgiving of those who were no good for her. She didn’t have the highest self-esteem, but she did have confidence in herself as a writer. She also suffered from depression, which is something I’m very familiar with, but unlike a few of my other well-loved authors, she handled it better.
I need to stop there before I give away the whole story. Suffice it to say, this is a book that needs to be read by anyone who considers themselves to be even the tiniest bit Feminist, anyone who loves anything to do with France, especially during the 19th century (my favorite time period), and anyone who loves Classic literature or Historical Fiction.