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The Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  6,174 ratings  ·  1,145 reviews
A passionate and powerful novel based on the scandalous life of the French novelist George Sand, her famous lovers, untraditional Parisian lifestyle, and bestselling novels in Paris during the 1830s and 40s. This major departure for bestseller Berg is for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.

George Sand was a 19th century French novelist known not only for her nove
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Random House
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Average rating 3.27  · 
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 ·  6,174 ratings  ·  1,145 reviews


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B the BookAddict
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Angela M
I can only say that Elizabeth Berg has portrayed a woman who, at times, I wanted to stand up for and cheer her on. Sand was a brave, gutsy, ahead of her time, curious, devoted woman. I've read a few novels by Berg in the past and was actually a little unsure if she was up to such a monumental task, i.e. creating on the page for us a semblance of the real George Sand. Ms Berg, stand tall and hold your head high, you have done this woman justice. 4.5★ ...more
Sherwood Smith
Copy provided by NetGalley.

There really needs to be a major work (fictional or non) about the remarkable George Sand, whose life spanned all the French revolutions, whose work influenced writers as widely spaced in geography and thought as Turgenev and Walt Whitman, and who experimented in life and in fiction with gender fluidity a century and a half before that was ever a term.

Unfortunately, The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg is not it.

There are some striking passages, full of sensory grace, abo
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Heidi The Reader
The Dream Lover encompasses some of the best qualities that historical fiction has to offer. It transports you to the 1800's France. It introduces you to an extraordinary person: Aurore Dupin, pen name, George Sand. Then, the reader gets to sit back and enjoy the wild ride that was her life. Talk about escapism.

For a woman in the 1800's, George Sand had it going on. She left her husband, had a series of lovers- both male and female- became a famous author, involved herself in the political uphe
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
In The Dream Lover we meet Aurore Dupin, or as she is better known George Sand. The book starts with her leaving her husband and her children for a life in Paris, but it will take a while before we will know what led her to the decision. The story in the book will take two roads. We will get to know her from her childhood parallel with her life in Paris as she seriously starts to write. The two parallel stories will towards the end merge into one.

It was a fascinating book. I didn't know that muc
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Megan
Feb 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
[Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley.]

I'm afraid I don't have anything good to say about this book. I was bored through almost the entire story. The frequent back-and-forth in time was disruptive, where it could have been a bit more natural. When the two timelines met around 80%, the book started skipping forward vast amounts of time. Some authors make this work (one of my favorite series is told by skipping around in time). With this book, it did not work. It would
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Angela M
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I have not read anything by George Sand but yet this novel about her life interested me because I thought it would give me the chance to learn something about this notorious writer's life and work. The book was satisfying for me in that respect. I certainly know a lot more about George Sand .

It was fascinating to get a glimpse of the time in Paris and the other famous people in her life . I liked that the narrative alternated between her childhood and adulthood , but the first person narrative w
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Rebecca
This historical novel about George Sand is a real slow burner, and unfortunately doesn’t get much better as it goes along. Berg makes the mistake of trying to be too comprehensive about Sand’s life; it would be better to just choose illustrative vignettes or representative love affairs (e.g. with Chopin) rather than include them all. There are two different timelines, 1831–1876 and 1804–1831, such that they eventually meet up and then the one continues the story through to the end, but together ...more
Alice Poon
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it

This is a compelling fictional biography of one of France’s most talented but often misunderstood female writers. Berg takes readers on an exploratory journey into the depths of George Sand’s heart and soul in recreating her controversial life. The author presents the narrative with much authenticity, understanding and admiration.

The novel is written in the first-person, with the protagonist doubling as narrator. I’m aware that this is a popular style of writing, but for me, the weakness in such
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Judy D Collins
THE DREAM LOVER by talented, Elizabeth Berg, a beautifully written, fascinating historical fiction of Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, best known by her pseudonym George Sand, a 19th-century French novelist and memoirist; rich in character, culture, and history.

Berg writes with enlightening, bold, and inspiring prose, with insights into the unconventional life of one of the most famous female and gifted writers of her time.

George Sand was known for her scandalous, and sometimes shocking behavi
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Melinda
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I was completely taken with Berg’s rendition of George Sand’s life. Learning of this prolific authoress from from birth to death was intriguing.

Sand suffered many challenges in her life along with successes and disappointments. A woman craving love – to love and to be loved, we are introduced to her numerous lovers, the trials each brings, the suffering of their endings. Clearly a brilliant woman born into an oppressive time for females especially women with artistic and literary talent pursuits
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Linda Hart
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is biographical fiction about Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, best known by her nom de plume George Sand, history's first successful female novelist. Told in first person narrative, the story documents a woman who was perhaps the most unconventional person of her day. Born in 1797 in Paris, her parents were a French lieutenant from the aristocracy and his courtesan lover whom he married. This unusual beginning for the young Aurore, as she was called, was to set the tone for her entire life.
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Quiltgranny
Jan 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was given this book by NetGalley through the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Idon't like giving negative reviews, as I usually always find something in each book like a little gem. Not this one. I love Berg's stories, but this one just fell flat. It seemed as if I was reading a daily "to do" journal. There was no personal voice, and George had no (or very little ) character arc, and for me, that spells "Pu t. T h e. book. Down. Now." So I did.
Nancy
I am perplexed that a novel about a fiery, determined, passionate and trail-blazing woman could emerge as a lifeless story without spirit or much substance.

I have read a few of George Sand's novels, viewed a PBS series on her life, and also seen the film about her interlude with Chopin. So, yes, I came to the book with some preconceived ideas about the character and, perhaps, a rather idealized view of who she was. My bias was such that I expected to learn more about her, understand her life mo
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☮Karen
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a slow starter and finally became somewhat better about 80% in. I appreciated that the instant I started reading, it was obvious in what era the book takes place. Yes, I already knew it was the early 1800's, but the language rang true to that fact, which I think is essential to creating the overall mood and atmosphere . I also liked that Ms. Berg went outside her comfort zone and her normal genre with this book. It was a good effort, but one that fell flat with me. I don't blame the wri ...more
Sara
I was very disappointed with this historical novel on the life of George Sand. I think Elizabeth Berg became so enraptured by Sand’s sexual exploits that she failed to see any other side of her. While Berg paints each affair as a great love and fills it with deep attachment and meaning for Sand, I think when a woman has that many attempts at “love” it is because she has not found it and is desperately searching. Of course, she labels Marie Dorval as her one and only true love, but there is no ev ...more
*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a work of epic proportions depicting the life of celebrated writer, George Sands. George Sands was the pen name for the French female novelist, Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin. In the 1800s women writers weren't respected or accepted, so Aurore adopted the "Sand" moniker.

The book danced back and forth between eras of Aurore's life. Sometimes this can make a book more interesting, but I found myself disoriented each time I took up the book to read again. Perhaps another reason for this was t
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Alissa
Oct 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
I've held off on making comments because I usually enjoy Elizabeth Berg's books and feel *bad* giving a poor review (because, you know, she's, like, trolling GoodReads and once she sees my review she'll cry a single tear). They're fun. They're sweet. They're quick reads.

I don't blame her for wanting to try something different, but with this book, she forgot to show instead of tell. I couldn't even get through it. And it's such a shame because this is a good story; instead, Berg just tells you a
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RoseMary Achey
Apr 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
If you are looking for something to replace your Ambien, pick up this book. I can't say this book fell flat as that implies there was some height to fall from.

It chronicles the life of French author George Sand and her many, many affairs and love interests. George Sand (Aurore Dupin) was ahead of her time with respect to both her writing and lifestyle but this fictionalized account of her life was sooooo boring!
Trish
George Sand led an unusual life worthy of biography, or of a novel with her as centerpiece. Berg had excellent instincts when she centered in on Aurore Dupin, alias George Sand, the 19th century bestselling author living in France.

Sand, half-in half-out of high society, had two children with an older man “she was married off to” and did not love. She met a much younger man and fell in lust. She moved with her lover to Paris where they collaborated on novels while she honed her writing skills as
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Sara
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I don't know if this was the most deadly boring book I've ever read or if George Sand herself is the problem. This book read like a never ending shopping list of George's various lovers all of whom share the same exact attributes; whiney, effeminate, rage filled, hypochondriacal artists who she takes care of before they break up in spectacular fashion and by spectacular I mean they write lots of letters about the true nature of love and cry. Her various trysts are broken up by equally riveting d ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
I am not rating this book. I was unable to finish it. As much as I like Elizabeth Berg, I dislike authors using a foreign language throughout their novels. This one is filled with French names, French cities, French, French, French. I was barely getting a feel for George Sands and who she was and the French names, accents and interpretations just got in the way. Not sure that I would like reading the book any better than listening to the audio, so sadly ending this as a DNF.
Cynthia
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it
It’s amazing how interesting an author who’s seldom read in modern times can be so fascinating. Aurore Dudevant aka Georges Sand seems to have lived many lives. Born to a prostitute turned respectable matron married to an affluent soldier Sand felt torn between the two backgrounds. She was passionate yet down to earth. She liked fine things but was willing to forego them in order to claim her freedom. She lived a rich inner life but at times attempted to appear conventional. And she wrote. She w ...more
Mauoijenn
Oh man. I wish this was as good as I hoped it would have been. I found this a CHORE to finish this. I lost interest a little before half way through it. I suggested this book to my book club, but I will be retracting that suggestion as I don't think this would be a good choice. Just not that good. :/
Heidi
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction/ biography of George Sand. I'm assuming an enormous amount of research was done to turn out this book. Elizabeth Berg is brilliant.
Kathy
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wanted to try author since Goodreads was recommending her work to me, but when I checked it out I found I had already tried and abandoned this...without making note of it. I read through this book rather quickly - too emotional for me. It went back and forth between time periods, but even that did not interest me.
Mary Lins
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: complete
Elizabeth Berg has written a new novel that is unlike anything she has written before. "The Dream Lover" is historical fiction about the French author George Sand (born Aurore Dupin) who lived and wrote in the nineteenth century, and who, for most of her adult life, dressed in men's clothing and had many famous lovers of both sexes. Words that can (and have) been used to describe George Sand:

Unconventional
Iconoclastic
Shocking
Flamboyant
Scandalous
Eccentric
Controversial
Gender-bending

Reading this no
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Karen R
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read several books by Elizabeth Berg and enjoy her writing style. The author takes a chance here and veers off on a path of historical fiction, and is successful. This is an engaging novel of a gifted and trailblazing woman in history. Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin aka George Sand, is a French novelist and memoirist, one of the most famous of her time. Raised for the most part by her grandmother in the countryside, she married at 18, divorced in her twenties and then began a period of roma ...more
Jenny Q
Nov 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books!

I was eagerly anticipating this novel of groundbreaking French author George Sand's life. I confess I did not know much about her beforehand, other than that she was a famous writer and that she had a relationship with Frederic Chopin, one of my favorite composers. I've been on a roll lately with good fiction about women in history, and so I couldn't wait to dig in.

The story begins as an older and ailing George reflects on her life, and then takes us back to altern
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Anita Pomerantz
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
How this book could be as boring as it was is beyond me.

The protagonist is an interesting person - - author and poet, George Sand, a woman who was distinctly ahead of her time. Sand's life was very, very interesting - - involving affairs and break ups with a number of famous artists (Chopin being the most notable), dressing as a man, being deeply in love with a female actress, and a turbulent relationship with her daughter. So Berg gets five stars for her choice of subject matter.

Too bad she the
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Barbara
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Thank you Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this.

I have read a few Elizabeth Berg books, but this is a departure from her norm. I enjoyed this book and learned quite a bit of French history too. I didn't know much about George Sand before I read this other than she dressed as a man and was one of the most famous French writers. George Sand was an unconventional person, maybe a bit eccentric and unorthodox, but she lived life passionately. I was surprised that her ideas about the
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Elizabeth Berg is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including We Are All Welcome Here, The Year of Pleasures, The Art of Mending, Say When, True to Form, Never Change, and Open House, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for the ABBY Award in 1996. The w ...more

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“´´I am in agreement with Goethe, who said that every day one ought to ´´hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.´´ I would add to this the need to love. Without it, the rest is dust.´´” 4 likes
“I tell you, I will never understand the mystery of love. A woman comes to a man because she wants only him; then she cannot bear the sound of air moving in and out of his nostrils. She cannot bear the sight of his shadow upon the pavement!” 3 likes
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