Banned Books Week - September 24 - 30

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

HFVBT: Heather Webb's Rodin's Lover - Review


My thoughts
My first introduction to Camille Claudel came in the form of the 1988 French film of the same name, Camille Claudel so I entered into reading Rodin's Lover knowing a bit about her. However, the film did not quite capture the depth of her character as this book has.

Once again, the author has completely captured the character of Camille, as she did with Napoleon in Becoming Josephine. Camille struggles with being a woman in a man's world and fights for her independence at every turn. When she comes under the tutelage of Auguste Rodin, her work continues to grow, but their tumultuous affair starts to take its toll on her. Always a passionate and outspoken person, Camille begins to exhibit signs of a mental disorder which is later confirmed as schizophrenia. The excellent writing brings her struggles and triumphs to light in vivid color and so, makes it all the more difficult to read the eventual tragedy of her life. In those days, it was so easy to put a woman away in an institution and so, Camille had little say when her beloved brother has her committed. One can only wonder what more she could have accomplished had she not been struck down with mental illness and then put aside as an inconvenience and burden.

The author has written another excellent work of historical fiction. Her exquisite prose and captivating characters really make this book a must read. She is clearly becoming one of my favorite authors in the genre.

About the book
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Plume
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction

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A mesmerizing tale of art and passion in Belle Époque France.

As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.

Rodin’s Lover brings to life the volatile love affair between one of the era’s greatest artists and a woman entwined in a tragic dilemma she cannot escape.

Advanced Praise for Rodin’s Lover
“Rodin’s Lover is a textured historical novel that captures the indomitable spirit of artist Camille Claudel, a woman whose mighty talent was nearly eclipsed by her potent love for fellow artist Auguste Rodin. Can two passionate, creative talents thrive together or will one flame inevitably consume the other? Webb gracefully explores this ignitable relationship while illuminating Claudel’s untold heartbreak and evocative artwork. A story of human emotion, once raw and malleable, now preserved to lasting stone.” ~ Sarah McCoy, New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of The Baker’s Daughter

“Rodin’s Lover is the story of Camille Claudel–one of history’s boldest and most brilliant artists. Forced to choose between a torturous love affair and the art that consumed her, Claudel is an audacious and authentic character who deserves to be remembered. RODIN’S LOVER is epic and unflinching–a book you won’t soon forget.” –Deanna Raybourn, NYT bestselling author and Rita Winner of City of Jasmine waltz

“Rodin’s Lover is an evocative portrait of the talented and explosive Camille Claudel who struggled between passion as the lover of Rodin and recognition as an innovative sculptor in her own right. From smoky cafés to clay-streaked ateliers, Heather Webb has created a vivid picture of Belle Époque Paris.” –Jessica Brockmole, author of Letters from Skye

“Dazzling!….. In Rodin’s Lover, author Heather Webb brings to life, with vivid detail, the story of brilliant and tormented sculptress Camille Claudel and the epic love affair with the legendary sculptor who worshiped her. Deeply moving and meticulously researched, this book will capture your heart, then hold it tightly long after the final page.” –Anne Girard, author of Madame Picasso

“A rich, sensuous novel…[was] written with great empathy for the very human Rodin and his lover, this novel of the visceral world of the 19th century Paris ateliers, of clay-stained dresses and fingernails, lithe models who vow to remain and then go, family love which stays through all difficulties and talent which endures, comes vividly to life.” –Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet

“Rodin’s Lover is a taut and engrossing look at sexism in the arts through the eyes of a lesser known figure, Camille Claudel, inspiring the reader to examine what’s changed and what hasn’t.” –Julie Kibler, bestselling author of Calling Me Home



About the Author
Heather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time novel writing and freelance editing. Her debut, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, released January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. Her forthcoming novel, RODIN’S LOVER, will release in winter of 2015.

When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

For more information, please visit Heather’s website. She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb), on Facebook, or via her blog. Stop on by!


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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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1 comment:

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