Stephanie Cowell brings Claude Monet back to life in her latest book Claude and Camille. Monet, a starving artist is haunted by a woman he saw before boarding a train. Four years later, this woman walks back into his life. Camille Doncieux, is a woman of privilege who sees potential in this down on his luck painter. Camille gives up her life of luxury and her parents approval to stay by her Monet. Their early relationship is rocky and tumultuous. Claude struggles to give his Minou everything she deserves as she adjusts to living life with a poor painter. Possessions get pawned and sold, they get evicted. But they still love each other. Both struggle under the weight of daily life, but somehow manage to survive with help from each other.
This is a beautiful real life love story. This is the second book by Stephanie Cowell that I have read. Though the books are similar in subjects, each has its own feel. Stephanie created the perfect feel of Claude and Camille. She perfectly captured both their despair and hope, as well as their gorgeous love story. This was a wonderful touching book! I even cried at the end.
Enjoy some of my favorite parts:
"His face still buried, he asked, 'Do you remember my painting of the magpie on a snowy fence in a field? I am that magpie, you see. He's so alone. I face the canvas and there's nothing there, because I think it's all been vanity with me and I've never been good enough. And I can't paint."
"'I could wipe all bad dreams away,' he said tenderly. 'I could give you a nice life. The one we always planned for. It's so odd that out of such chaos a possibility of something beautiful comes. I thought this wasn't so, but now I believe it. We must make the losses into beauty, somehow.Will you let me?'
She nodded, and even though she looked down, he could see that she was smiling. 'Yes', she said. 'All I ever wanted was a life with you. I knew it, but I was safe here. Will you make me safe again, Claude?'"
"He never told her he thought often of Camille."