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Rodin's Lover

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,298 ratings  ·  241 reviews
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
Paperback, 306 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Plume
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Debra Borchert Actually, there were two films that I've seen, both from very different view points, and I recommend both, highly. I think "Rodin's Lover" is probably…moreActually, there were two films that I've seen, both from very different view points, and I recommend both, highly. I think "Rodin's Lover" is probably the most accurate of all. Debra(less)

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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  1,298 ratings  ·  241 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book opens with a young girl and her younger brother chasing each other in the woods, the scene is delightful. The girl is seventeen year old Camille Claudel and her younger brother Paul. Though this scene is joyous, home life for Camille was anything but as her burning desire is to be a sculptress, a career her mother most disapproves as she does many things about her daughter. Her father though has supported her decision since she was very young. The dissention in the family home is palpab ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
If Camille Claudel had been born a century later she would have been much more accepted and that is very tragic. She was talented, but she lived in a man's world and she just couldn't play by their rules. I mean women apparently had to send a request to wear trousers! All she wanted in her life was to sculpt, but she had to fight for that, her mother was against it, thanks to her father she could do it

Her relationship with Auguste Rodin was passionate, but her jealousy, her fierce nature, and, i
Angela M
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it

It's always fascinating to me how a novelist can take a famous person from the past and imagine what they might have said or done at a given time on their life , or what their relationships might have been like . I'm always a little skeptical too. Of course , there is biographical information to be researched but imagining the conversations , the intimate moments that we don't hear in the biographical accounts somehow makes these icons more real . But I do keep in mind when I read historical fic
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 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 m
Connie G
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Passion fills the pages of this story--passion for art and the intense love of Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin. Even as a girl in the late 19th Century, Camille was driven to create art. She would dig up clay near her family home in Villeneuve-sur-Fere, not caring that she was ruining her nice clothes, so she could form her sculptures. Her father and her brother were supportive of her art, but her mother thought she should be meeting suitors and preparing for a married life. She was a young wo ...more
Camille Claudel (1864-1943) was a French sculptor, recognized for the originality and quality of her work. She had experimented with materials, “demonstrating her immeasurable talent for crafting with difficult materials.”

France, 1881. Camille Claudel studies are progressing well. Upon finishing her studies, her mother expects her to find a husband and end the absurd of being an artist.

She persuades her father to hire an art tutor. And the new tutor persuades the father to enroll Camille at a sc
Sonja Yoerg
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You don't have to love historical fiction to love this book. Nor do you have to appreciate sculpture, or care about the politics of public art. You don't even have to be able to find Paris on a map. No, all it takes to love this book is a willingness to lose yourself in a story about a woman whose motto, if she lived now, would've been "Go big or go home."

Camille Claudel (about whom I knew exactly nothing) is a heroine I won't soon forget. Consumed by her drive to create, and inflamed by her lov
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

It's rare that I pick up a book with a premise I know nothing about, but that's exactly what happened with Heather Webb's Rodin's Lover. Before cracking this fiction I'd honestly never heard of Camille Claudel and the only thing I knew about Rodin came from Catherine Zeta Zones in 1999's The Haunting. A virtual blank slate, I had no idea where this story would take me, but I loved watching it come to light in Webb's hands.

BAM Endlessly Booked
Another superb recounting of an artist's relationship with his muse, only this time the muse happens to also be a recognized sculptor on her own right. I took the time to google images of her pieces and they are exquisite. When one takes into account that Claude's was also suffering from schizophrenia, her talent seems extraordinary. Rodin is also an integral part of the plot. Their love affair seems genuine and deep, but obviously unconventional. If this sub genre is of any interest to you, I r ...more
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had heard the name Camille Claudel before reading Rodin’s Lover, but knew nothing about her. Women artists interest me, but I had never previously read anything about a sculptor. This means that I was completely uneducated about the methods and traditions of sculpture. So I learned a great deal from this book about Camille Claudel, Auguste Rodin and sculpture in general. Yet I felt that the Wikipedia article on Camille Claudel caused me to understand the general outline of her life better than ...more
Susan Spann
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a pre-publication version of this novel, and devoured it from start to finish in a single sitting.

I'll write a full review closer to publication, but for now, this is an epic story of love, art, and madness, written by one of the best new voices in historical and women's fiction.
Dec 13, 2014 rated it liked it
It appears that I am in the minority in that I was a little disappointed in Rodin's Lover by Heather Webb. I was expecting more historical fiction and less historical romance. Ms. Webb does a fairly good job expressing the obsessive passion that Rodin and Camille Claudel felt for one another and their art; however, at times, it came across as a little tedious for my taste. Between chapters, there are often large lapses in time without explanation or acknowledgment. Several times, I found myself ...more
I would have preferred a more sophisticated interpretation of Camille Claudal's life. She was an exceptional artist who was ahead of her time both artistically and culturally. Her tragic life was circumstantial. She had a bitter and hateful mother and brother who essentially stole Camille's life away from her; and for a woman in the 19th century, her independent desire to express herself in sculpture was akin to prostitution.

Looking at and reading about the life and work of Claudel in relation
Jennifer S. Brown
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Years ago, I saw the movie Camille Claudel, so I procrastinated on picking Rodin's Lover up, thinking there would be nothing new in there. How wrong I was! I was so delightfully surprised at the insight into Claudel's--and Rodin's--life, and I felt I were learning her story anew. The writing swept me away, and now I'm anxious to return to Paris to visit Claudel's artwork. A beautifully wrought story. ...more
Erika Robuck
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Consumed. This novel consumed me.

Webb's powerful writing matches her passionate and tragic heroine, sculptor Camille Claudel. The conflicts and frustrations of a female artist at a time of rampant discrimination bring the pages to life, and the beautiful writing and narrative momentum make the book impossible to put down.

The cast of artists, writers, and notable historic figures will send one in search of photographs and images for hours, and Claudel will forever haunt the reader. Webb's depict
Faith Justice
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-early-reader
I've visited the Rodin museum in Paris twice and was aware of Camille Claudel's work and her relationship with the famous sculptor, but not the story behind the woman and artist. Her life is both sad and uplifting. I finished the book with a profound sense of sadness about the toll that mental illness (most likely schizophrenia) took on a talented woman's life. It was only after some thought, that I realized the disease also provided a strength that allowed Claudel to flout social norms in the l ...more
Heather C
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love the historical fiction sub-genre of art fiction. You get not only the atmosphere of the time period being explored, but are also treated to the beauty of the artist’s pieces. It requires that the author be both knowledgeable of the time period and art. It is not an easy feat to describe through words what a masterpiece looks like – it is so much easier to just look at it – but that is what the author must do here. It’s an extra challenge and can add so much depth to the narrative.

In Rodin
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Rodin's Lover" is the latest release from Heather Webb, author of "Becoming Josephine." It is a historical fiction take on Camille Claudel, a woman who dreams of being a famous sculptor. Unfortunately for her, she lives during a time where women are not supposed to be artists and her mother is more interested in making a good love match with an appropriate gentleman. Enter Auguste Rodin, the famous sculptor. Camille finds him endlessly intriguing and falls under his spell. It is not easy to be ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Camille Claudel does not conform to convention. Her mother wants her to accept her place first as a girl and do things good girls do and then as a young woman, marry and have a family. Instead, as a girl, Camille digs for clay to sculpt with and comes home dirty.

Her father is more supportive and moves the family to France where Camille can go to an art school that recently opened it’s doors to female students. Her mother agrees but only if Camille will at least agree to meet potential suitors. O
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced reader's copy of Rodin's Lover, provided in exchange for an objective review.

From the opening pages, this story casts a heart-wrenching portrait of Camille Claudel, first on the outskirts of Belle Époque Paris, and then in the epicenter of its artistic movement. Fans of historical fiction will love the period detail and societal positioning among the characters. There's a Jane Austen-like irony in the dialogue, along with some terrific appearances by historical figures (De
Julianne Douglas
Written with a passion and conviction worthy of the sculptor herself, Heather Webb's new novel RODIN'S LOVER (Plume, January 2015) explores the tumultuous life, troubled psyche, and splendid achievements of Camille Claudel, student, protégée and rival of artist Auguste Rodin. Born in an era that expected bourgeoise women to reflect their husbands' glory, Camille determines instead to amplify her own. Gifted with the skills, vision and tenacity necessary to succeed as an artist, she confronts hea ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Webb's second novel focuses on a less well known figure, French Belle Époque sculptor Camille Claudel, and this novel surpasses her first (which was pretty fabulous!).

Camille is a bit of a savant, a self-taught sculptor with immense talent and a matching ego. Driven to pursue her art, she receives tutoring in Paris from one of France's preeminent sculptors, but her family is split in their support of her passion. Camille's father supports her while her mother rages against the unorthodox behavio
Martie Nees Record
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As with “The Aviators Wife” taking the reader behind the scenes of Charles Lindbergh through the eyes of his spouse, as well as, the novel “The Paris Wife” using the same concept to Ernest Hemingway and his first wife; this story is also written as a historical biographical novel, a genre that I seek out. Auguste Rodin’s lover is Camille Claude, a woman who aspires to be a sculptor, as is Rodin, during the 19th century in France. I knew a little bit about Claude since years ago I watched the Fre ...more
Kate Forsyth
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I remember watching the movie ‘Camille Claudel’, starring Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu in the late 1980s, and being stirred by the intensely romantic yet tragic story of this young sculptor as she struggled to make her way as a woman and a creative artist in the male-dominated world of the late 19th century.
Heather Webb has now brought Camille Claudel to life on the page, in this delicate and haunting novel told from her point of view.

We see her as a strong-willed and determined young
Tasha Seegmiller
This book is incredible. I got an advanced copy from Penguin's First to Read program and was in love from the first page to the last. Webb has the ability to weave in historical elements seamlessly, give the reader snippets of French culture as if it is nothing at all, all while writing a compelling and passionate story.

But don't let the title lead you to believe the passion is exclusively romantic. The struggle Camille faces in being a female artist, the way she does whatever she can to contin
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I knew only a little about Camille Claudel before I picked up this book. I of course knew about Rodin, and The Gates of Hell is one of my favourite sculptures ever. (If you haven't yet, try to see it in person; the size and detail is incredible.)

The story was fascinating, and it ranged from Camille's adolescence until her tragic descent into mental illness. I hadn't known that of her; such an unfortunate end to a very creative life. The story was a page-turner for me, and I read this book in one
“Love did not conquer all; it only made life more bearable for a short time before it consumed its victims.”

"Paul did not understand; neither did Auguste. She tried to explain, but each time she spoke of the Voice, they looked at her as if she had three heads. Perhaps hers was broken."


~~Camille herself, along with one of her bronzed sculptors.

Given 3.5 stars or a rating of "Very Good". Full review to come on Monday.

Further Reading: A link to the Musee Rodin website. Many of the works reference
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
No Sophomore slump for Ms. Webb. If you fell in love with this talented new author's enchanting debut novel, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, you'll be mesmerized by her newest effort, RODIN'S LOVER.

An enthralling look at a fascinating character, RODIN'S LOVER takes you into the unstable mind of Camille Claudel, a talented female sculptress from the early twentieth century, whose light becomes dimmed under the brilliance of her lover, Auguste Rodin.

Fast-paced, emotionally charged, and drenched in historical
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Camille Claudel becomes and apprentice to Auguste Rodin- she can not handle the overshadowing of her work by Rodin's successes. They become lovers, her obsession with him, her work and the failed relationship with her family leads to her hospitalized for madness. ...more
Jenny Q
Sep 10, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. Right about this time last year, I read and loved Heather Webb's debut, Becoming Josephine, which made my list of the best books of 2014. Her Josephine was such an alluring, empathetic, and inspirational character, that I couldn't wait to see how Ms. Webb would bring Camille Claudel to life. I knew who Rodin was, but I knew nothing about Camille before reading this book. I love when historical fiction authors bring little-known women into the spotlight to shine alongside the men in th ...more
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2014.5: Rodin's Lover 2 47 Jan 31, 2015 03:31PM  
Read 4 Review: My latest review 2 27 Dec 25, 2014 02:01PM  

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Heather Webb is the USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction. In 2017, LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS won the Women's Fiction Writers Association award, and in 2019, MEET ME IN MONACO was shortlisted for both the RNA award in the UK and also the Digital Book World Fiction prize.

Up and coming, Heather's new solo novel called THE NEXT SHIP HOME: A NOVEL OF ELLIS ISLAND is about

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“The inevitable slip of time weighted on a man's soul.” 2 likes
“Love did not conquer all; it only made life more bearable for a short time before it consumed its victims.” 1 likes
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