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I knew only a little about Camille Claudel before I picked up this book. I of course knew about Rodin, and The Gates of Hell is one of my favourite sculptures ever. (If you haven’t yet, try to see it in person; the size and detail is incredible.)
The story was fascinating, and it ranged from Camille’s adolescence until her tragic descent into mental illness. I hadn’t known that of her; such an unfortunate end to a very creative life. The story was a page-turner for me, and I read this book in one, blissfully uninterrupted, sitting. There aren’t too many books I can say that about.
Camille’s path into sculpture, and the workings of an atelier, were my favourite parts of the book. That’s probably the art geek in me. But aside from that, I hoped and wished for Camille’s success, and felt her agonies and frustrations as my own, the sign of a well-written novel. I highly recommend it, and I know I will be picking up Heather Webb’s other work.
A mesmerizing tale of art and passion in Belle Époque France
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.
“Dazzling!….. In Rodin’s Lover, author Heather Webb brings to life, with vivid detail, the story of brilliant and tormented sculptress Camille Claudel and the epic love affair with the legendary sculptor who worshiped 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 rich, sensuous novel…[was] written with great empathy for the very human Rodin and his lover, this novel of the visceral world of the 19th century Paris ateliers, of clay-stained dresses and fingernails, lithe models who vow to remain and then go, family love which stays through all difficulties and talent which endures, comes vividly to life.” –Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet
[historical fiction/ women’s fiction]
Release date: January 27, 2015
About the Author
Heather Webb is the author of historical novels BECOMING JOSEPHINE
and RODIN’S LOVER published by Plume/Penguin, a freelance editor, and blogger. You may also find her contributing to award-winning writing sites including WriterUnboxed and RomanceUniversity.org. When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills and looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.
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