STEPHANIE COWELL is the author of "Nicholas Cooke: Actor, Soldier, Physician, Priest"; "The Physician of London" (American Book Award 1996) and "The Players: A Novel of the Young Shakespeare." She is the also the author of "Marrying Mozart," which was translated into seven languages and has been optioned for a movie. Visit her at www.stephaniecowell.com and http: //everydaylivesfrenchimpressionists.blogspot.com.
One winter's day, a young, frustrated Claude Monet waits for a train on his way to boot camp; through the crowd, he spies a lovely young woman in tears. Captivated, he sketches her face before she disappears with her mother and sister into the bustle of the station. A few years later, he has not forgotten the girl's beauty and is stunned to meet her again in a Paris bookshop. Her name is Camille Doniceaux, and she is destined to become Monet's first wife and greatest muse. Moving through war, illness, prosperity, and poverty, Cowell (Marrying Mozart) writes the couple's love story with an eye for perspective as skilled as any painter's. By novel's end, readers are left with not only the satisfying drama of life among the Impressionists but also a greater appreciation for Monet's art and the driving forces behind it. VERDICT Though the plot occasionally cries out for greater detail, the story of Claude and Camille's complex and engrossing relationship compensates. Fans of Tracy Chevalier, Susan Vreeland, and Sarah Dunant will want to check out this rich, artsy read. [Ebook edition available: ISBN 978-0-307-46323-4; highlighted in AAP's Librarians' Spring 2010 Sneak Preview.]-Leigh Wright, Bridgewater, NJ Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
"Once again the acclaimed novelist Stephanie Cowell deftly takes us into the world of the classical arts with her well researched and beautifully written novel of historical fiction, "Claude & Camille.""--"LA Times Book Examiner" 5 Stars (Examiner.com) "Cowell is nothing short of masterful in writing about Claude Monet's life and love....An enthralling story, beautifully told."--The Boston Globe "What a man! I am in awe before him. To be swept up by this novel which reveals the man and woman behind--no, in, the waterlily paintings, the seascapes and landscapes, is, and must be, a heartbreak. For me, reading Claude and Camille is like seeing old friends, learning them anew, from the inside, their passionate lives pulsing again by virtue of Stephanie Cowell's sure pen. The story is lovely, touching, delicately written, extraordinarily compelling, and nearly all true. Read it with a book of Monet's paintings by your side, and be prepared to marvel, and to weep."--Susan Vreeland, author "Luncheon of the Boating Party "and "Girl in Hyacinth Blue ""You'll never look at Monet's water lilies the same way after reading Cowell's luminous biography of the artist and his muse" - "Romantic Times" (4 Stars) """Rich and satisfying...Cowell seems poised on the cusp of very great things." "-January "Magazine "There's more than one love triangle involved in this highly recommended tale. Don't miss "Claude & Camille.""--"BookLoons""Fleshing out the artist's biographical outline with fresh imagery, well-paced dramatic scenes and carefully calculated dialogue, Cowell presents a vivid portrait of Monet's remarkable career. She writes with intelligence and reverence for her subject matter, providing a rich exploration of the points at which life and art converged for one of history's greatest painters."--"Booklist" "With elegant prose that blends color, light, and shadow to perfection, much as Monet did in his canvasses, Stephanie Cowella