01 March 2019

Review: Claude & Camille - A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell

Claude & Camille - A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell book cover
After reading Claude & Camille - A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell, I've decided Monet was a detestable fellow and a sponge on all who knew him. There, I've said it!

Reading a fictionalised account of the life of a favourite artist is a risk and unfortunately it didn't pay off for me this time. I will continue to admire Monet's artwork but this insight into the man revealed an unlikeable artist who repeatedly made decisions that infuriated me.

Of course I knew he and his first wife Camille lived in poverty, but I didn't realise how proud he was, how he was constantly in denial about his mounting debts and often ran away to escape them. During periods of greatest financial need, he was often too upset or worried to paint; his only source of income.

The frequent mention of impressionist artists was to be expected and Renoir, Bazille, Sisley, Degas, Cezanne and Pissarro all feature in Monet's life.

While I didn't like Claude Monet and therefore wasn't terribly interested in his life, this is not a reflection of the author's writing. Stephanie Cowell has done a great job bringing Monet's story to life and her detailed research shines through.

My rating = **

Carpe Librum!

Would you like to comment?

  1. Too bad about this. Perhaps you read about the wrong Camille in the world of art. Try reading "Rodin's Lover" by Heather Webb!

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Davida, you might be right there. I'll go and check it out.


Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!