Kristyn Conner's Reviews > Indiana

Indiana by George Sand
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's review
Jan 16, 11

bookshelves: read-in-2011, books-i-own
Read from January 10 to 13, 2011

I had initially heard of George Sand’s first independent novel upon listening to a Meg & Dia track entitled (what else?) “Indiana,” over five years ago. This song in particular seemed to stand out from the rest of their album; its lyrics weren’t necessarily about love or despair or the slew of other human emotions that songs are typically about, but rather, it appeared to tell a story of which I was unfamiliar. The story depicted a girl named “Indiana,” a “strong and obedient wife” who had begun “to die,” due to the fault of some man entitled “Colonel” who likely neglected her. After discovering that the inspiration for the song came from Sand’s work, I decided to use the rest of an gift card in order to purchase a used copy of the novel.

The novel sat on my shelf for years before I finally decided to pick it up earlier this week… and I can’t believe I never had the motivation to read it sooner, because I absolutely loved it. The language flowed smoothly, which made it quite the easy read, and it wasn’t predictable in the way that I had expected it to be. After the sudden and tragic death that occurs in the first eighty or so pages, the plot shifts, and Indiana instantly becomes a back-and-forth story of manipulation and lust (and sometimes love, though it’s rare and mostly exerted by the female characters). There were times when I felt completely sympathetic toward the poor, nineteen-year-old Creole girl who often becomes the victim of Raymon’s seductive games… but there were other instances in which I found her to be foolish, over-dramatic and downright unpleasant. In the end, however, I was satisfied with the way that the novel ended (though I did not necessarily anticipate it), and I shut the book feeling the same way that all great books make me feel: invigorated, reflective and thoroughly appreciative of the experience.

In particular, this novel strongly reminded me of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, which is often a required text for many high school literature classes. If you enjoyed reading about scandalous, 19th- and 20th-century love affairs and you’re an advocate of feminism, then perhaps Sand is right for you.

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Reading Progress

01/10/2011 page 13
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