Acquired Book By:
I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Rodin’s Lover” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Plume, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Inspired to Read:
I barely had time to read the full premise of Rodin’s Lover when I signed up for the blog tour, as I had a sixth sense about this particular release! I had a strong feeling that after the success of Webb’s debut novel on behalf of Josephine Bonaparte, this next one would draw quite a large readership — partially out of curiosity and partially out of the fact all of us knew how intricate she layers the historical fact with the fiction; etching into our collective memories a full-bodied novel rooted in history, with characters who step off the page as if they were being given a second life to live in front of us!
I had heard an inkling about this being set in France and knew it had a strong impact on the world of art, but as far as what it was precisely about — that was something I was happily surprised to have found out much, much later! Rodin is one sculptural artist I do not know too much about overall, as I had mentioned on the interview I gave on this tour, most of the artists I am familiar with are Italian in origin! I had to smile when I realised this, as Webb’s art history appreciations lie in France, with mine further south in Italy! I never had thought about how different we (here refers to ‘everyone’ not merely Webb) approach what draws our eye into an artist, and what it is about that particular artist’s style and voice out of the medium and materials he/she uses that stabilises the connection for us. Even the country of origin can have a resounding effect on our peception and our acception of a particular era of art.
On my connection to Ms. Webb:
Ever since I first hosted her debut novel Becoming Josephine on her original blog tour in January 2014, I have happily had the pleasure of crossing paths with her in the twitterverse! We would share quite a lot of happy conversation rather spontaneously as the year carried forward. We have the tendency to duck inside the same Twitter events, chats, and/or follow or converse with writers in common whilst delighting in the bookish and writerly joy that extend out of our paths continuously crossing. I delight in the joy of being able to interact with writers I have had the honour of reading stories of inasmuch as the writers who become a delight to know in this virtual bookish community.
I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her and have enjoyed our random conversations on Twitter. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.
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.
Places to find the book:
Also by this author: Becoming Josephine, Author Interview: Heather Webb (Rodin's Lover), Cover Reveal: Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War, Last Christmas in Paris, The Phantom's Apprentice
Published by Plume
on 27th January, 2015
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook
Camille Claudel & Rodin:
Claudel is a self-sacrificing artist unto where she doesn’t see past her creativity and the ache she has to explore more with her mouldings of clay. She did not just give her light, heart, and soul to the art she fused every part of her being to the medium; lending an outside observation that without art, Claudel would no longer exist because art had replaced the words and experiences that manifest outside that scope.
You can see quite a bit about Rodin’s temperament whilst he is in conversation with Monet; both men were working in Paris whilst approaching their careers with equal passion yet with different trueness to their own individualistic character. Where Monet was melancholic due to tragic loss, Rodin is seen a bit too esteemed to defy the rules by which both men worked in order to make their livings. On Monet’s behalf, I believe he did not feel his course was set to break the rules but rather to fuse his own artistic joy into a visual element that would appeal to the public. Rodin on the other hand was a bourne rebel who did not want to be placed inside a pre-determined path nor adhere to a rule of how to sculpt when he himself would sort that out in his studio. Read More
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge