The Dream Lover

The Dream Lover

by Elizabeth Berg

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The Dream Lover 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
SMHarris More than 1 year ago
THE DREAM LOVER is a historical fiction account of the life of George Sand (Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin), with a very strong emphasis on her love life and suggested bisexuality. It took me a while to get into the rhythm of the novel because the chapters alternated between past and present until eventually merging into a present telling. While THE DREAM LOVER wasn't a favorite of mine, I did enjoy the writing style of Elizabeth Berg enough that I would read other novels by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book very difficult to read. The author constantly goes back and forth between love and hate, appreciation and dislike. There are so many contradictions to her characters it was easy to see that they were merely concoctions and in no way real people. While the writing technically good, overall, the book never connected up for me in a believable, authentic way. And when the author wrote (almost at the end of the book) that Gustave Flaubert often read three books in a day and "took great offense at being interrupted while he did so," I totally gave up. The book after a while was a chore to read, contained a great many contradictions which were hard, if not impossible to sort out, and seemed to be more of a sentimental fantasy than a real depiction of a real woman, George Sand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so beautifully written and I felt transported in time and place as I read. What a remarkable person was George Sand. Completely relatable two centuries later. I am inspired to learn more about her and to read her work. Yes, Elizabeth Berg, I did fall a little in love with her. Thank you.
60143pbr More than 1 year ago
I do love the author but I felt that this isn't her best effort. The story didn't flow well. Even though the chapters shifted in time it could've been smoother. Her relationship with Chopin was given short shrift but then again I hadn't been aware of all her other relationships including a husband and children. So though being informative (and I appreciate all her research) it isn't my favorite of her tales.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Lots of love affairs and a little bit of writing and publishing, but nothing felt right given the time period.  Set in the 1830s and 1840s in Paris, a woman who wants to be a writer and is separating from her husband just didn't work for me.  I have since looked up Aurore/George Sand and know that the story is based in truth, but throughout my whole reading I just couldn't put my finger on why it didn't work for me and didn't seem at all plausible.   Although George Sand becomes an interesting figure in publishing, I felt like the book didn't focus on that, but instead focused on the many love affairs and moves from home to home.  At a certain point, I didn't care about all the sleeping around and wanted more dynamic action from the story.  
connie37 More than 1 year ago
I am sorry I bought this book. It is a mess, back and forth, I was not able to continue reading, even trying to look ahead was difficult. There is nothing I can say, it would be a waste of time as this book was for me.
LoveReadingIL More than 1 year ago
I always describe Elizabeth Berg as being my favorite writer and I have read all of her books, but this one is a huge disappointment. Her writing is always beautiful, but this book is not engaging. Perhaps the problem is that the main character is not likable and actually not very interesting. She is presented as being very self-centered and unlikable. I just could not get involved with the story and while I read it to the end, I was glad to reach the end. My biggest disappointment with the book is the format in which Miss Berg continuously switches back and forth from one time period to another. The switches are frequent and jarring. Just as we get involved with the story, we must switch gears-very, very confusing. As much as I love her body of work, I cannot recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms Berg's earlier books were literary gems, but the last several have been huge disappointments. Dream Lover is yet another failure. Overly sentimental prose with odd time and character shifts made it impossible to maintain interest or curiosity.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
One may wonder what is that fires the thoughts and imagination of a great writer.  Then the curiosity is satisfied when we read about or encounter the depths of the character of that writer, a satisfaction one experiences when reading this novel.  Elizabeth Berg has depicted the childhood and adult life of the controversial but well-known writer, George Sand.   It matters not whether the reader agrees or disagrees with the lifestyle of any writer but one must acknowledge the creativity, uniqueness, passion and obsession behind the plots, characters, and ideas to be fleshed out on the page. As a child, George Sand was born as the child of a rich father and a prostitute mother who adored each other. But her father’s grandmother never accepted her son’s wife and let her granddaughter know it at every opportunity.  As a result, the woman who was to become a famous 19th century author spent her childhood shuttled between relatives and a convent school.  She became cold-hearted in many ways, married but then came to an arrangement with her husband whereby she would live in Paris and return to their home for certain time periods to be with her children.   During that time, she met many writers who both supported and reviled her.  Obsessed with having the same equality with men, she eventually dressed as a man and engaged with writers and musicians, including Balzac, Chopin, Hugo, Delacroix, Lizt and more.  She found a great love and respect with the passionate actress Marie Dorval and had brief romantic interludes with other men.  But most of the time she took what one could only describe as a deep loneliness and disconnection from people into her writing.  While most found the characters in her novels to be biographical, she insisted they were a composite of everyone she’d ever met but whose idea were clearly and unashamedly her own. Following George Sand’s development as a person and writer is fascinating but there is a serious lack in this novel about her writing, with only brief and vague references to certain characters and ideas.  One also wonders about what she discussed with all of the famous artists she socialized with initially and why they abandoned her or even if it was she who abandoned them.  It leaves many questions the reader may form unanswered. Elizabeth Berg is quite astute in depicting the complexities of a character and it is here she excels in forming a portrait of this enigmatic, troubled but talented writer whom readers have found intriguing and highly skilled over time. George Sand’s eccentric personality gave passion and clarity to the world she created in fiction.  Fascinating novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bloodmoon you will stop being evil or I wil get all of the clans I rp in to destroy your clan. The clan thing is supposed to be fun. You aren't supposed to try to kill everybody's clans. So stop raiding and destroying everybody elses clans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Then just in time before skystar suffucates i leap on bloodmoons back digging my claws right into the ugly cat i find a way to climb up to her neck and at the last second with all my might snap her neck she fell on the floor with a thud dead. I look at skystar she supposed to be evil because that was easy. I ealk out listening to everyday we lit by PnB rock
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Why do you cry? I know you are haard on the outside but your bloodstains can be washed away..... " she looks in her eyes "if you really want to change come to my den at lavender result one."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Flickers into view in front of bloodmoon her transparebt body blocking her.
silencenomore More than 1 year ago
This is a bit of a change for Elizabeth Berg. I am an huge fan and have read most of her books. The Dream Lover takes a perplexing topic and some very intriguing facts about the life of Aurore Dudevantssue , who wrote under the pen name George Sand. She couldn't find a fictional novel about George Sand, so she decided to write one herself. Sand embarks on a quest to peruse writing, leaving a loveless marriage and children behind. Paris, and she has a lover who becomes disheartened by her success. As the journey of writing continues she has many other famous lovers and issues complex to 1833 but similar to us women today. The choices we make to move forward leave hardship and guilt like dust settling on the road. All one can do is drive forward. A scandalous lifestyle exists in every era, only she heightened the thrill of her sexuality to mimic a dream, a real life fantasy. The book divulges a great story of the hidden life of George Sand she now can say has been put to print in a fictional novel. Well done Elizabeth Berg. You never disappoint a loyal reader.
MerryWifeofWindsor More than 1 year ago
The story opens up in 1873 where George is an old woman. Knowing that her death is not entirely too far off, she reminisces about her earlier life. The story alternates between her childhood in the early 19th century and her life as a disgruntled married woman in the year 1831. As a married woman, George Sand has done the unthinkable and made an agreement with her husband where they would remain married but live separate lives. She spends the majority of her time living in Paris while her husband remains at the country estate with their two children, Maurice and Solange. What follows is a constant stream of lovers that happen to always leave George a dissatisfied shell of a person. Yes, there were bits of her writing books sprinkled in here or there but overall, it was mostly about her pursuit of a quick succession of lovers. From start to finish, this book was mind-numbingly dull. George Sand was a fascinating and colorful personage of the 19th century who really turned Parisian society upside down with her avant garde behavior. The author, Ms. Berg’s "The Dream Lover" was painful to read and there were times where I felt lost in a fog. I found her rendition of George Sand to be wooden and hollow. Furthermore, I found it difficult to enjoy the heroine. Most disappointing was her depiction of Frederic Chopin as well as some of the other historic characters as Franz Liszt and even Gustave Flaubert. To her credit, the author must have done a considerable amount of research and it is apparent in her writing, disjointed though it may be. It seemed almost as if Ms. Berg’s George Sand was a barnacle on her lovers’ backs. It would have been nice for the story to have been about Sand and less so about her interaction with lovers. **Reviewed by the Merry Wife of Windsor**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wordsandpeace More than 1 year ago
About a famous French writer, an independent and scandalous woman. VERDICT: George Sand was a very popular writer in her days. While recreating the dynamic world of artists and writers of 19th century Paris, Elizabeth Berg draws the portrait of an independent woman, both talented and tormented, scandalous for many. A must for all lovers of French literature and historical novels. George Sand is a very important figure in French literature. Unfortunately, she is not as well know in the US, and I’m not aware of anyone writing a historical novel on her. So I seized the occasion when I heard about The Dream Lover. It was also a good way of finally reading a book by Elizabeth Berg. I’m shocked to see that the average rating she received so far for this book is not too high on Goodreads. I thought the book was really excellent. I have the feeling most readers had not even heard about George Sand, or at least they knew almost nothing about her eccentric life. And maybe they were not able to go beyond her character to appreciate the fabulous job Elizabeth Berg is doing in this book. Using a simple and evocative style not unlike George Sand’s itself, Berg recreates the difficult childhood Aurore Dupin, her real name, had. All along the novel, the author highlights how the difficult relationship Sand had with her own family background will replay with her own daughter. Her refuge is the family house at Rohant in the countryside. This village life is an important element in many of her novels. An easier time during her teen years was the time she was sent to perfect her education in a convent. The book opens when she leaves her loveless marriage to start a successful literary career in Paris. The book goes back and forth between this period and her childhood, until that moment. In Paris, introduced to the very active art and literary circles of the time, she enters in close relationships with both men and women, most quite famous writers, painters, and musicians. Chopin (who composed many of his works at Rohant) is famously known an her lover. If he was one of the longest ones, he was far from being the only one… Starting to dress as a man early on in life for practical reasons, it is easier to ride horses, which she enjoyed very much, she keeps doing it when she realizes it gives her a much better social presence. But during her life time (1804-1876) that could only add to the aura of scandal surrounding her. Her independence shows not only in her clothes and love relations, but also obviously in her writing. As Berg shows clearly following Sand’s main books, lots of her writing was about feminism, before the name even existed I think. She was a very popular writer, even eclipsing Victor Hugo at one point! I really enjoyed how Berg recreated the amazingly dynamic world of artists and writers at the time in Paris. And how she managed to combine together Sand’s emotional tormented life and the development of her writing as well as her political career.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
I have read and enjoyed many books by Elizabeth Berg, but this book felt like an albatross hanging around my neck. A fictional account of the life of George Sand, the scandalous writer in the 1830's, screams for romance, rebellion, and courage. Berg's novel lacks emotion and structure. Many writers jump from narrator to narrator, or from early life to later life, but Berg's writing of young Aurore and careless Aurore jerks the reader back and forth without any consistency. The first person narrative in this novel does not work, as Aurore/George seems selfish and demanding, and incapable of love and responsibility. I struggled with the book, and never gained any appreciation for the style or content.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Author Elizabeth Berg became interested in the life of 19th century writer George Sand. She told her friend Nancy Horan, who has written historical novels such as Leaving Frank and Under a Starry Sky, based on real people, that she should write a book about George Sand. Horan said "Write it yourself!", so she did. The Dream Lover tells the story of George Sand, born Aurore Dupin to a wealthy soldier from a respected French family and his wife, a former courtesan who followed the military during battle and left a general to marry Aurore's family. Aurore narrates her own story, from her upbringing with her strict, controlling, wealthy grandmother through her marriage to a man who was a poor steward of her inheritance to her success as a novelist and her many love affairs along the way. I knew little about Sand, other than she was a French novelist who dressed in man's clothes. Sand began wearing men's clothes when she was a theatre critic, and she could buy tickets to the cheaper seats if she were a man. She liked wearing stylish men's clothes so much, she continued it most of her life. Aurore's great love of her life was Marie Dorval, a famous actress who loved life freely. Marie captivated Aurore, and Aurore fell madly in love with her. They remained friends most of their lives, until a falling out left Aurore bereft. Aurore's marriage constrained her, though it did give her two children- a daughter, with whom she had a strained relationship throughout their lives (like many mothers and daughters), and a son, with whom she had a better relationship. I found the sections on her feelings about motherhood fascinating, and it gave you a real feel for how Sand balanced her work with her family life. She had an agreement with her husband that she would spend three months at a time in Paris, where she would write, and then three months at home at her grandmother's estate that she now owned. Her months in Paris gave her a freedom she relished. She cultivated a group of intellectual and artistic friends, including Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix and Frederic Chopin, with whom she had a long term affair. Sand had many affairs, although some were with men who left her unfulfilled and unhappy. Reading how an intelligent, inquisitive, artistic woman like Sand had to deal with a society where women were discouraged from such behavior was fascinating. Sometimes when a story is told in different time shifts, as Berg does here with three basic alternating timelines, it can be confusing, but Berg weaves the timelines together seamlessly. Switching back and forth gave the book a coherence. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but I enjoyed The Dream Lover a great deal. I felt dropped into Sand's story, like I was right there in France with her and she shared her story with me. Telling the story in her voice worked brilliantly here. George Sand is an amazing woman, and after reading The Dream Lover, I am heading out to find some of her novels. Fans of historical fiction should put The Dream Lover at the top of their must-read list.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
For female writers in the 19th century, it was difficult, if not impossible to get a book published. So many women used male names. This is exactly what Aurore Dupin did. She assumed the name George Sand to publish her books. But Dupin also liked to dress as a man while she hobnobbed with other famous persons who also lived in France at the same time.  Author Elizabeth Berg has written a comprehensive biographical fiction novel about this author's life. She sweeps the reader into the decadence of Paris, into illustrious salons and restaurants and houses. The novel moves back and forth through various stages of George Sand's life, from childhood, to a failed marriage, to the later years of her life. The book is written by a talented author, however, I struggled a bit with the over abundance of characters and the slow pace at the start of the book. It was a good book, but it did not grab me as I'd hoped it would. For those who wish to learn more about this fascinating author, then the book will provide great insight into this talented and prolific writer's life. 
Xkoqueen More than 1 year ago
Interesting Historical Fiction I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it so I’d say 3-3.5 stars.  Technically excellent first person narrative; the story travels back and forth in time as the main character recounts her life story. I had not previously heard of George Sands, and I am always interested in learning about unique women in history, however, as historical fiction, the story didn’t pack enough punch. The main character in this historical fiction was Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, who wrote under the nom d’plum George Sands. I anticipated a much more colorful story telling to capture the essence of such a colorful figure. I have enjoyed previous work by Elizabeth Berg, however, The Dream Lover didn’t work for me. The tedium of the book read more like a copiously detailed biography rather than a work of historical fiction. Since I was not previously familiar with George Sands, I didn’t realize the book was based on a real person’s life until I read another review. The review was fascinatingly filled with historical detail that made reading The Dream Lover less of a chore. I usually enjoy the complexity a dual timeframe or dual point-of-view adds to a story, but in The Dream Lover, using a dual timeframe, the author got bogged down in childhood detail that was not all that interesting. Some information needs to be presented as a basis for the character’s behavior, but it shouldn’t take over the majority of the book. The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg is an interesting first glimpse of the life of Aurore Dudevant aka George Sand, but I didn’t not find it to be a griping historical fiction.
CPAC2012 More than 1 year ago
Aurore Dudevant, neé Dupin (a.k.a. George Sand) was born in July, 1804, to Maurice Dupin, an aristocratic military man, and Sophie, a passionate belle with a checkered past and low social status. Maurice's mother never accepted the union between her son and Sophie, though in later years both women learned to coexist to the point of sharing the same living space. Aurore grew up under her paternal grandmother's care, until she married Casimir Dudevant, then her best friend, when she was eighteen years old (1822). By 1831 she had been tempted once to have an extramarital affair that never consummated, and had had a one night stand from which her daughter was conceived. By then it was evident she could not tolerate her husband any longer, while he hated her, so Aurore decided to leave him and become an author in Paris, at that point rather out of necessity, to supplement her annual allowance. Though Aurore inherited her family's fortune, her husband administered the estate because women could not. In 1835, she sought out legal separation from her husband and recovered Nohant, the property she inherited. She was also awarded custody of her two kids: Maurice (eldest) and Solange, five years his junior. George Sand was lover of poet Alfred de Musset and composer Frédéric Chopin. Among her friends were the likes of painter Delacroix, novelist Honoré de Balzac, musician and composer Franz Liszt, and novelist Gustave Flaubert. George Sand died in her estate of Nohant in 1876. The story is told in two parallel accounts: one starting with Aurore's birth to the point when she left her husband in 1831, and the other, which starts in 1831, marked as a relative "present tense" that continues for the ensuing years. While the past may hold a key to understanding Aurore, it is the "relative present" that is interesting enough to keep the reader from giving up on reading The Dream Lover, for Aurore becomes her truer self (not necessarily happier) after she leaves her husband and takes on many lovers. It is during those years that she starts dressing as a man, changes her pen name to George Sand and becomes a celebrated author with a much talked about public persona. I don't think Elizabeth Berg planned in advance what kind of flow would better suit this novel. From time to time there are brief glimpses of sumptuous prose, but soon after Berg recovers from those poetic spells and resorts to a sentimentality under which her protagonist suffers immensely. The prologue shows beautiful promise, but then Berg opens the novel resorting to language so common that even lovemaking seems trivial. It is a pity that a life so scandalous has been reduced to inconsequential for lack of passion for the subject. DISCLAIMER: I received from the publisher a free Galley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cecile-Sune-Book-Obsessed More than 1 year ago
The Dream Lover is a historical fiction based on George Sand’s life. The French author had a very unusual life marred by tragedy and heartbreak, but also full of love and art. She was ahead of her time, a free spirit who didn’t shy away from leaving her husband or wearing trousers. In addition, she was a very successful writer and rubbed elbows with brilliant artists, including Honore de Balzac, Alfred de Musset, Marie Dorval, Eugene Delacroix, Frederic Chopin, and Gustave Flaubert. The book tells her story from her birth in 1804 to her death in 1876. The Dream Lover came about when Elizabeth Berg read interesting facts about George Sand in The Writer’s Almanac and realized that there were not a lot of books written about the French novelist. So she contacted her friend Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank and asked her to write a book about George Sand. Nancy had just finished a novel, and she didn’t feel like writing another one just yet, so she told Elizabeth to do it herself. But Elizabeth had never written historical fiction before so it was a challenge for her. To prepare, she read George Sand’s autobiography, as well as her travel journals, and letters. I must say that Elizabeth Berg ended up doing a wonderful job. The Dream Lover is a fascinating look into George Sand’s life. The story is told in the first person which brings the reader closer to the main character. Chapters alternate between George Sand’s unhappy childhood and her life as a writer in Paris. The reader learns about all the wonderful artists of the time, as well as a bit about the tumultuous politic climate of the 19th century. However, I thought that there were too many characters in the story, and it was sometimes confusing and hard to keep track of everyone. In the end though, the book was an absorbing read about a woman who spent her life looking for love. The Dream Lover was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review. Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warning i made the kids names up: "johnathan are you having fun?" A woman asked her son "ya momma bonnies letting me ride his shoulders wheeeee!!" He exclaimed a girl not far away sat neatly she wore a yellow dress with white flowers sewn into it she smiled at chica as she took a bite of her pizza "hi maddie!" A girl waved to the child in the child in the yellow dress "a rosy cheeked girl ran towards her, her brown hair bounced with every step she was wearing freddys hat the two girls played together and decided to go watch the show johnathan sat next to them making silly faces he wore binnies guitar a boy with red hair walked up to them he had just visited foxy from pirates cove hi guys he smiled they watched the animatronkc show until they spotted a goldenfreddy holding a cake a young boy ran up to the kids "cmon golden freddy has special games and cake! Oh by the way my names josh!" The blond haired boy smiled "cmon" the kids shrugged their shoulders and followed them into unfamilar room golden freddy shut the door and clicked it shut josh froze "wheres the cake?" He started to cry all the children were weeping suddenly a voice came from indside the suit "shut up" it said he took off the mask and suit to their surprise it was a security gaurd with purple clothing he smiled an insane smiled and pulled a knife from his pocket he grabbed the yellow dress girl by the hair and slit her throat instantly killing her the children screamed in terror next he grabbed the girl with the freddy hat stabbed her heart and cut her eyes out. He grabbed the kid with bonnies guitar and cut his pulse instantly killing him as well to two last children sat in the corner terrified he slowly approached there was blood all over the insane man he cut off the childs hand that had foxys hook killing him as well and finally cut joshes hand pulse he smiled and laughed insanely he closed the door shut 5 dead bodies lay on the floor luckily marrionette was there to put the children in the suits to give them the gift of life~ i hope you enjoyed if u want mire relpy to mr buggy!