By Elizabeth Berg
Random House, 356 pgs. Historical Fiction
In this beautiful historical novel, Elizabeth Berg tells of the passionate life of author George Sand. Sand, who was born Aurore Dupin, was raised on a large estate in the French countryside. She married young to a man who quickly seemed to tire of her and within a few years, despite bearing him two children, Aurore found herself desperate to escape her loveless marriage and dreary country life.
So, she left for Paris to become a writer. Her first job was writing reviews for theatrical productions. This assignment proved difficult since she could not afford the ticket prices charged for admittance to the seats appropriate for women. Her solution was to dress as a man and take advantage of cheaper ticket prices. This simple deception allowed George Sand to emerge as Aurore Dupin faded into memory. As an artist she was allowed eccentricities and continued dressing as a man, avoiding many of the limitations usually enforced on her sex.
Sand’s life seems to have been a desperate search for love as demonstrated by her complicated relationships with her mother, grandmother, children and wide variety of lovers. Her one constant was her writing, which brought financial freedom and emotional release. “The Dream Lover” is an interesting depiction of a very fascinating and complex woman.