First of all, in the interest of honesty, I have to say that I am a huge Elizabeth Berg fan. I love each and every one of her books, and believe that she is a wonderful writer. That being said, I must also say that she really hit the ball out of the park with this book.
This book is a fictional account, in her own words, of George Sand’s life. Born Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dudevant, she leaves her husband, both her children and moves to Paris. There, Aurore as she was known begins to write under the name George Sand. She even takes on the appearance of a man by dressing as one in order to cut the cost of theater tickets. At the time woman had to sit in a box, a cost Sand could not afford – thus she dressed as a man so she could purchase a cheaper ticket. Finding that she was treated far better as a man, Sand simply continued to wear men’s clothing. Who wouldn’t enjoy the respect afforded her when she appeared to be a man?
I love the story of Sand’s life, which was really not something I knew too much about. Like most people I was aware of her many lovers, and the cross-dressing, but not the details and reasons behind her behavior. You get the feeling that her search for love was really the totality of her life. Her books were one thing, but her life was focused on looking for her “dream lover”. Along with the story of Sand’s life, we also get a guide-book on how to live in this world. I love the way that Sand thought about the many different facets of life. And, Berg does a wonderful job of showing us these ideas in a way that is both assessable and understandable. There is a lot to think about.
I highly recommend this book. The portrayal of George Sand here is fantastic, and I love the “voice” that the book is written in. I hope you read it, too.