Becoming George Sand
Becoming George Sand
Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547370545, 295pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Maria Jameson is having an affair a passionate, lifechanging affair. She asks: Is it possible to love two men at once? Must this new romance mean an end to love with her husband? For answers, she reaches across the centuries to George Sand, the maverick French novelist who took many lovers. Immersing herself in the life of this revolutionary woman, Maria struggles with the choices women make and wonders if women in the nineteenth century might have been more free, in some ways, than their twenty-first-century counterparts.
Here, Rosalind Brackenbury creates a beautiful portrait of the ways in which women are connected across history. Two narratives delicately intertwine following George through her affair with Frederic Chopin, following Maria through her affair with an Irish professor and bring us a novel that explores the personal and the historical, the demands of self and the mysteries of the heart. Sharply insightful, "Becoming George Sand" asks how we make our lives feel vibrant while still acknowledging the gifts of our pasts, and challenges our understanding of love in all its forms sparkling and new, mature, rekindled, and renewed.
"Read Becoming George Sand for the beauty of the prose, for the intertwined and compelling stories of two brave and piercingly alive women. Read it most of all, though, for its honesty, the way it reveals and illuminates certain truths and longings that are often believed to be secreted inside only one individual, but are in fact universal. This is not so much a story about having a love affair as it is a study of the nature of love itself. I was absolutely knocked out by it."
—Elizabeth Berg, author of the forthcoming Once Upon a Time, There Was You, as well as Open House, What We Keep, The Year of Pleasures, Talk Before Sleep, and many others
"This is a beautiful, wise novel. The intertwining of past and present, of France and Scotland, of genius and analysis is done with an ease that disguises the consummate skill of the writing. A lovely book."
—Edmund White, author of The Flaneur and City Boy
"An elegant novel which offers sensitive and witty reflections upon an astonishingly wide range of topics, Becoming George Sand is a great read and its characters—the struggling writer Maria Jameson and the indefatigable George Sand—are enchanting company."
—Valerie Martin, author of Property
"A wonderful book—filled with wisdom, poetry, and imagery so brilliant I wish I could steal it. Maria is a character to love, whose loves are vivid, embracing, and revelatory. This is a treasure!"
"Written with brilliant assurance and a rich, stirring voice, Becoming George Sand is a masterful tale that travels the world in pursuit of its extraordinary characters and takes readers on a journey filled with wisdom and an unforgettable sense of joy and inspiration."
—Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Crescent and The Language of Baklava
"Brackenbury’s fine new novel makes the worlds of present-day Edinburgh and nineteenth-century France both wonderfully real and full of moving emotional drama."
—Alison Lurie, author of Foreign Affairs "Here is a delicious and devastating account of the lives and loves of two women, one contemporary and Scottish, the other the legendary George Sand; both writers. The parallel lives are tellingly written, and this matters: the story also reveals the persuasive, elusive shadows that writing and reading insinuate into the texture of a life."
—Harry Mathews, author of My Life in CIA and former editor at the Paris Review