Author Heather Webb
Release date: January 27, 2015
Webb’s illustration of the complicated and abundantly talented artist Camille Claudel focuses on her tumultuous and licentious affair with Auguste Rodin, a man penetrating her heart yet elusive for her to possess.
Exceptionally researched, Webb highlights the art world in all its glory and harshness. The politics, power and societal propriety seizing artists and their creativity creating a fissure of misunderstanding. A world full of sexism and misogyny as female artists struggle to penetrate a male dominated world, an improper vocation fitting a woman.
Webb provides snippets of Claudel, more could have been offered besides her love of Rodin and their forbidden dalliance. Rodin comes across as weak, a man hopelessly in love with his artistic equal but bound by obligation and duty preventing a full fledged commitment with Claudel.
Despite their runaway attraction, the narrative fails to convey their deep rooted connection, it feels flat, lack of spark. Their mutual appetite for sculpting is also tempered. Two obsessive creatures in both art and love are not expressed as they could be in the narrative, rather a quiet storm leaving the reader anticipating and wanting more declared.
I was hoping Claudel’s slow descent into ‘madness’ was examined more. What drove her to ‘madness’ or was she a victim shut away for convenience sake of her ‘family’ as a maverick, an intelligent independent woman craving more or was art the culprit – much delving left wide open in this area.
An entertaining read, it’s a romance narrative rather than an in depth probe into the woman Camille Claudel. A woman worthy of notice and artistic praise as her life is often questioned in its shroud of mystery and unanswered questions. I was expecting Webb to take a different avenue with Claudel, despite my frustration this is a worthwhile read, if anything the reader will want to discover more of Camille Claudel on their own of her life, art, and tragic circumstances.
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. [provided by the author]
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.
Subscribe to her newsletter.
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