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Claude & Camille

A Novel of Monet
Cowell, Stephanie (Book - 2010 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Claude & Camille

Item Details

Sometimes he dreamt he held her; that he would turn in bed and she would be there. But she was gone and he was old. Nearly seventy. Only cool paint met his fingers. "Ma très chère . . ." Darkness started to fall, dimming the paintings. He felt the crumpled letter in his pocket. "I loved you so," he said. "I never would have had it turn out as it did. You were with all of us when we began, you gave us courage. These gardens at Giverny are for you but I'm old and you're forever young and will never see them. . . ." nbsp; In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father's nautical supplies business in a French seaside town. Against his father's will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris. nbsp; But once there he is confronted with obstacles: an art world that refused to validate his style, extreme poverty, and a war that led him away from his home and friends. But there were bright spots as well: his deep, enduring friendships with men named Renoir, Cézanne, Pissarro, Manet - a group that together would come to be known as the Impressionists, and that supported each other through the difficult years. But even more illuminating was his lifelong love, Camille Doncieux, a beautiful, upper-class Parisian girl who threw away her privileged life to be by the side of the defiant painter and embrace the lively Bohemian life of their time. nbsp; His muse, his best friend, his passionate lover, and the mother to his two children, Camille stayed with Monet--and believed in his work--even as they lived in wretched rooms, were sometimes kicked out of those, and often suffered the indignities of destitution. She comforted him during his frequent emotional torments, even when he would leave her for long periods to go off on his own to paint in the countryside. nbsp; But Camille had her own demons - secrets thatnbsp; Monet could never penetrate, including one that when eventually revealed would pain him so deeply that he would never fully recover from its impact. For though Camille never once stopped loving the painter with her entire being, she was not immune to the loneliness that often came with being his partner. nbsp; A vividly-rendered portrait of both the rise of Impressionism and of the artist at the center of the movement, Claude and Camille is above all a love story of the highest romantic order.
Authors: Cowell, Stephanie
Title: Claude & Camille
a novel of Monet
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 338 p. ;,25 cm.
Alternate Title: Claude and Camille
ISBN: 9780307463210
Statement of Responsibility: Stephanie Cowell
Subject Headings: Monet, Claude, 1840-1926 Fiction. Monet, Camille, 1847-1879 Fiction. Painters France Fiction. Painters' spouses France Biography. Impressionist artists France Fiction. Giverny (France) Fiction.
Genre/Form: Biographical fiction.
Topical Term: Painters
Painters' spouses
Impressionist artists
LCCN: 2009023383
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Library Staff

Claude & Camille is the story of Camille Doncieux, Monet's great love and muse.

Comment by: PicklesReads May 31, 2011

Great fictionalized account of Claude Monet's relationship with Camille, his wife. Could not put it down!

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Jun 25, 2013
  • BookEnthusiast rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed reading this book because it flowed nicely and it was a quick, interesting read. I would say on page 203, that's where the book really took off for me. Now I'm wanting to go to the art museum and look at the Impressionist paintings.

What fun to meet so many Impressionist painters (albeit fictitiously)! I never would have found this book—let alone read it—if a patron hadn’t told me about it. I had more fun looking up all the paintings mentioned. If you’re going to read it, have a book of Monet’s paintings or the internet available.

May 31, 2011
  • PicklesReads rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Great fictionalized account of Claude Monet's relationship with Camille, his wife. Could not put it down!


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