Monday 2 February 2015

Rodin's Lover by Heather Webb

Rodin's Lover by Heather Webb
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.


If Camille Claudel had been born a century later she would have been much more accepted and that is very tragic. She was talented, but she lived in a man's world and she just couldn't play by their rules. I mean women apparently had to send a request for permission to wear trousers! All she wanted in her life was to sculpt, but she had to fight for that, her mother was against it, thanks to her father she could do it.

Her relationship with Auguste Rodin was passionate, but her jealousy, her fierce nature, and in the end her illness just couldn't make the relationship work.

I liked the book, but I found it was hard to read also, partly because I know how it would end, but also because I felt that I really never got into the story. I felt sorry for Camille Claudel, but I never really liked her in the book, I liked that she struggled to do something that before just men had done. But often I felt that she lacked the will to compromise, do keep her mouth shut sometimes. But this could easily be a part of her illness, but that didn't make her more sympathetic. She drove her friends away with her sharp tongue and I can understand why they find it was hard to be friendly with her. I don't know if she was this way in real life or if Heather Webb has just portrayed her this way. But it really made it hard to read the book. Also the relationship between Rodin and Claudel, I just didn't feel any passion I was never engrossed by their tragic love story. I didn't feel that moved by their relationship. It was interesting to read to get to know more about them, but I could just as well have read a biographical book about them.

Still, it was a good book, it was never boring, and I liked the small part with Victor Hugo, made me want to know more about him.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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