Monday, March 26, 2012

Review of Claude & Camille by Stephanie Cowell

Claude & Camille
Stephanie Cowell
Broadway Books
340 pages
Claude Monet knew he didn’t want to walk in his father’s footsteps, he knew there was more to life than being a merchant, he knew in his heart that he wanted to paint. He didn’t know that he would become one of the founding fathers in a school of painting known as Impressionism, didn’t know how steep a hill he would have to climb to reach the summit of his success, that he would be friends with other painters some that would go on to greatness and some that would be lost in obscurity, didn’t know waiting in a train station on his way to the army in Algiers that he would sketch a young distressed girl and that girl would become the most important part of his life and his life’s work.
Camille Doncieux knew she didn’t fit into the compartmentalized life her parents wanted for her, she knew she wanted more, she knew she wanted passion. What she didn’t know was what that passion might cost her, she didn’t know how much true love could hurt you as well as heal you, she didn’t know that a chance meeting with a young painter would be a prelude to the love of a man who’s passion would not only equal hers but exceed it.

Stephanie Cowell brought to life for me the historically accurate fictionalized story of one of the greatest painters who ever lived and brought it to me with all the pain, the joy and the turbulence in not only his life but the lives of the people around him, the people who meant the most to him and the times in history they went through as well as the history they themselves created. She gave me the inside scoop on the muse behind the man his first wife Camille, what she meant to him, what their love endured and what heartache that love caused both of them. She brought it to me in a narrative that takes me back to the time she’s covering and while the words may never have come out of any of the great master’s mouths, they could have. She showed me a true bohemian lifestyle that these artists lived and breathed and how it cost more than some of them could afford to give. And last but never least she told me one of the greatest love stories of all time in vivid detail so in my mind’s eye I watched as Monet sat in front of his easel and painted Camille.
This novel would appeal to any lover of fictionalized history, fans of literary fiction, historical fiction and those of us who love not only a great story but a terrific love story as well.
Buy the book here visit the author’s website here

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