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Rodin's Lover: A Novel Paperback – January 27, 2015
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"Webb's subject is fascinating...readers will find themselves hunting up encyclopedias and visiting museums to learn more about Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin...An entertaining guide that will take readers in and out of the salons and studios of 19th-century Paris and introduce them to one of history's most tragic and unsung rebels."-Kirkus Book Reviews
"You'll be drawn into this story of obsession and passion."-Cosmopolitan
"Dazzling!... the story of brilliant and tormented sculptress Camille Claudel and the epic love affair with the legendary sculptor who worshipped 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 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. A story of human emotion, once raw and malleable, now preserved to lasting stone."
-Sarah McCoy, New York Times bestselling author of The Baker's Daughter
"Camille 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, New York Times bestselling author of City of Jasmine
“Written with great empathy, this novel of the visceral world of Paris ateliers, of clay-stained dresses and fingernails, and talent which endures, comes vividly to life."—Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet
Praise for Becoming Josephine:
“Webb holds up a light into the inner recesses of a fascinating and contradictory woman . . . Becoming Josephine is an accomplished debut.”—New York Journal of Books
“Webb’s portrayal of the range of Josephine’s experience—narrow escapes from bloodshed and disease, dinner-table diplomacy, and her helpless love for Napoleon, her children and a small dog—is exceptionally concise and colorful. A worthy fictional primer on Empress Josephine.”—Kirkus
“A debut as bewitching as its protagonist.”—Erika Robuck, author of Call Me Zelda
From the Author
"Masterfully crafted...a larger than life love story full of passion and tragedy. Webb captures the era and characters to perfection."--RT Book Reviews, starred review
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Top Customer Reviews
Camille Claudel (about whom I knew exactly nothing) is a heroine I won't soon forget. Consumed by her drive to create, and inflamed by her love for her tutor, Auguste Rodin, Camille achieves more than any woman sculptor of her time, and pays the price at every level. Passion, heartache, entanglements and betrayal--it's all here.
Webb frames the story beautifully, carrying us into nineteenth century Paris and through the studios, salons and homes of the working artists and their models, benefactors, rivals and families. Her writing is precise (but never arch), assured and utterly convincing. I could feel the clay in Claudel's hand, and the fire in her heart.
Fast-paced and filled with raw emotion, Rodin's Lover is an impressive achievement, and a reminder of the power of great stories about great lives, whenever they were lived.
There were many parts of the story I enjoyed, I often paused to research the works mentioned, Claudel had some amazing pieces and what was more impressive was the obstacles she faced being a woman in the male-dominated art world. Where the story fell flat for me was Claudel herself - I don't know if the author took liberties with her character, making her unlikable by other women (and the reader) with her sharp demeanor, but it made me limp through the book. Perhaps the disconnect was done on purpose to illustrate her mental decent.
I also wasn't overly invested in Claudel's relationship with Rodin. It was supposed to be a passionate, at times jealous affair, but I didn't buy into it, the writing wasn't strong enough and Webb seemed to say the same thing over and over about their passion for each other.
I found this book just okay. I did expect more passionate, especially based on the title, but I found the book a bit boring.
Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb is a fascinating journey back in time. It takes us into the lives of sculptors Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel and sweeps us through their passionate and often volatile relationship together.
Camille Claudel was not your typical woman of the 1800’s. Not only was she a talented sculptor; she was also fiercely independent and determined to succeed as an artist in a man’s world. Growing up with a mother who never showed her love and constantly berated her for one reason or another only made Camille strive harder for the future she wanted.
Meeting the great artist Auguste Rodin changes Camille’s life forever. He not only makes Camille his apprentice but also his muse. The attraction between the two is magnetic and inspires them both to create amazing works of art. Not all is perfect in their relationship though. For years Rodin has lived with a woman called Rose who has taken care of him and given him a son. Despite his troubled relationship with her he is unwilling to leave her. This sparks a fierce jealousy in Camille who believes if Rodin loved her as much as he claims to he should be able to leave Rose and make her, Camille, his whole life. It is not to be and eventually the volatile nature of their relationship and the pressures of trying to succeed in the male dominated art world pushes Camille to the edge of madness and beyond.
Rodin’s Lover is a beautifully written book and steeped in history. From the first to the last page I was fully drawn into the lives of Camille and Auguste and enjoyed every minute. In fact this novel prompted me to do further reading on both characters because I was so intrigued by them and their art. Rodin’s Lover is perfect for those who enjoy historical fiction and will also appeal to those who enjoy novels about dramatic relationships. Highly recommended!
Set in France during the 1900's, Rodin's Lover is a comprehensive telling of a young woman who defied social norms and became a beloved sculptor. Like many biographical novels, the pace slows sometimes, but the story was compelling enough to keep me reading. The author portrayed Camille in a most sympathetic way, and I found her fascinating for her courage, dedication to her work, and willingness to learn. The author also did a thorough job of describing art techniques and the various historical characters in a very real, believable way. A lovely, but sad story.