Sunday, April 11, 2010

Book Review: CLAUDE & CAMILLE


Here is my review of this fantastic, beautifully written and simply mesmerizing novel...
 Claude & Camille is a work of art in itself.  Author Stephanie Cowell has reached into the very soul of the artist to bring us a reflective novel on Monet’s life.  The artist’s most inner feelings are revealed, leaving the reader filled with the ups and downs of a mind and soul forever battling with its purpose.  



This exquisite novel depicts this great impressionist, from his youth to his life with his grand amour, Camille.  There were so many ups and downs in this relationship- probably as many as the very roller coaster ride of his own artistic career. Monet was constantly seeking to make ends meet, while trying to fulfill his quest to paint... 

I had never really gone this deep into Monet’s life and was quite humbled by all of his tribulations.  Although there were times when I could not understand his need to constantly flee- I completely understood him in others.  This tug of war within himself,, his art, his life and his love all mattered so deeply that the drama was inevitable.  Monet; the balance between genius and insanity.

And what about Camille?  Ahh the lovely, fragile, loving- yet not always so stable herself...could I expect a love less intricate to capture the heart of this complicated artiste?  The scenes were perfect; depictions themselves of a time and place- that I’m sure that this is how it actually all happened. 

To delight even further, Cowell surrounds us with all the great artists of the time- leaving no one out.  The novel includes actual scenes with the painters as crucial in the development of the story.  Here we find Renoir, Pissaro, Manet, to name a few...Superb!

The artist in me was mesmerized from the very beginning.  . I am completely in awe of this beautiful novel in all of its particularities and detailed history.  I know so much more about Monet now!

Claude and Camille captures the history, the love and the art- a rainbow on canvas- a true work of art.  I recommend this to anyone with a penchant for art.  As for Art History lovers: an ABSOLUTE MUST!

For more on this grand event, please check out the HFBRT Calendar of Events here.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for my Creative Post on Monet's Visit to my very favourite place in the world!

(I am entering this one in the Royal Reviews Historical Reading Challenge, and OF COURSE the Art History Challenge, and The 4 Month Challenge part 3 )

Last but not least:  Claude and Camille is perfect for my own French Oh-La-La Reading Challenge.  If you haven't joined my challenge, and would like to, please visit here:  http://enchantedbyjosephine.blogspot.com/2010/01/french-historical-challenge-oh-la-la.html


7 comments:

dolleygurl said...

I learned so much about Monet from this book too. I wasn't too interested in him before because I not the biggest fan of his art, but his personal story is so interesting. Thanks for the review.

Pricilla said...

This book just sounds like such a delight

Muse in the Fog said...

Monet's painting take on a whole new life after reading this. I agree, this is a must read! Have a great week :)

Stephanie Cowell said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful review! from the author Stephanie

Marie Burton said...

Great review Lucy! you are so right when you say it captures history along with the feel for the artist.

librarypat said...

The more I read about this book the more I want to read it. This was such a vibrant period in art history.

lizzy J said...

I so loved this one too, it was like opening a door to him and now I will never close it. Loved the review Lucy!