Review & Giveaway: Claude & Camille by Stephanie Cowell

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by Stephanie Cowell

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SYNOPSIS: In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father’s nautical supplies business in a French seaside town. Against his father’s will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris.

But once there he is confronted with obstacles: an art world that refused to validate his style, extreme poverty, and a war that led him away from his home and friends. But there were bright spots as well: his deep, enduring friendships with men named Renoir, CĂ©zanne, Pissarro, Manet – a group that together would come to be known as the Impressionists, and that supported each other through the difficult years. But even more illuminating was his lifelong love, Camille Doncieux, a beautiful, upper-class Parisian girl who threw away her privileged life to be by the side of the defiant painter and embrace the lively Bohemian life of their time.

His muse, his best friend, his passionate lover, and the mother to his two children, Camille stayed with Monet—and believed in his work—even as they lived in wretched rooms, were sometimes kicked out of those, and often suffered the indignities of destitution. She comforted him during his frequent emotional torments, even when he would leave her for long periods to go off on his own to paint in the countryside.

But Camille had her own demons – secrets that Monet could never penetrate, including one that when eventually revealed would pain him so deeply that he would never fully recover from its impact. For though Camille never once stopped loving the painter with her entire being, she was not immune to the loneliness that often came with being his partner.

A vividly-rendered portrait of both the rise of Impressionism and of the artist at the center of the movement, Claude and Camille is above all a love story of the highest romantic order.

Simply stated - Claude & Camille is by far one of the most beautiful books I have ever read! I had little knowledge about Monet prior to reading this, but I know now I will never forget him or Camille and their story nor will I ever look at his paintings the same way again.

Stephanie Cowell’s writing is impeccable and her characters, charming and many faceted. All in all, I found Claude & Camille to be an utterly engrossing read – the kind that makes you tune out everything (and everyone) else (ha - just ask my husband) and has you looking forward to every free minute that you can get back to it. Poignant and touching, Claude & Camille is a fascinating look at one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, his struggle to succeed as an artist and the woman he loved.

Highly Recommended!

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How would you like to win your very own copy of Claude & Camille?  Passage to the Past has a copy up for grabs for one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY 411:

Giveaway is open to US and Canada entries.  Please leave a comment with your email address to enter.  Only one entry per person.  If you have already won a copy on another blog, please let me know and I'll remove your name so others may have a chance.

Giveaway ends on April 20th.  GOOD LUCK!

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 Make sure to also visit the following blogs today for more posts from the Round Table:

Author Guest Post w/sponsored giveaway at The Burton Review
Arleigh’s Special Giveaway at Historical-Fiction.com


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62 comments:

  1. Please enter me. Thank you! =)

    sliugarcia@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, I want to read this one! I've been waiting for it to come out!

    srfbluemama[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  3. By odd coincidence, I was just thinking today that I've reached a point where, although my art is not painting, I want to learn more about the classic painters. Thanks for this suggestion!

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  4. Sounds great! I just finished the Girl with the Pearl Earring and will be reading a couple more about paintings, so this looks very interesting as well. Count me in.

    kimbaldwin74 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Neither do I have any knowledge about Monet! Sounds like a great read.

    Please dnt enter me though :)

    Thanks for a great review, I have added this to my wishlist!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like a great book and your review definitely makes me want to read it!

    reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm not too sure about the "true love" part of their relationship, but what the heck-I am willing to be convinced! :)

    kitty fischer [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the Impressionists and am particularly fond of Monet. I'm glad to hear this book is a lovely read. I'd love to win a copy - caramellunacy at gmail.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I cant believe I am the first for this wonderful giveaway. The love story is so beautiful that I would love to win this.

    mystica123athotmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm entering!

    starmetaloak@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I read MARRYING MOZART and I definitely want to read this one!!

    LIS859@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would love to win a copy! I have been looking forward to reading Claude and Camille since I first read aboiut it in your blog.

    heatherzilla(at)care2(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ooohhh, please enter me! This sounds wonderful!

    tiger_fan_1997@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ever since reading Girl with a pearl earring, I've developed an interest in Historical Fiction about art and artists. Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can't wait to read this novel.
    I grew up with a painter in the house and I minored in art history so this will be a much needed welcomed escape!
    What a wonderful and inspired love story!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have been wanting to read this since I saw it in Mailbox Monday posts. Please enter me

    bthgordon(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I loved it too.. a wonderful story =) I especially enjoyed the way the other artists intermingled with Monet throughout the story, so that we got to know more about other artists as well.
    Thanks for linking me!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. i am so excited to read this novel. Please enter me!
    Thanks.

    MyHandbagHabit at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds awesome! Thanks!

    saz AT chainreader DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been a fan since the Elizabethan novels and would love to win a copy of this new book.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Looks interesting. Would really like to read it.


    Empress_Lariel@hotmsil.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would love to win this book
    thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Please count me in.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would love to win this book.
    amandarwest at gmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  26. This looks like such a promising read! I don't know very much about Monet, but I sure would like the chance to rectify that! Please count me in!

    zibilee(at)figearo(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  27. Please enter me for a copy of this wonderful book. I am so looking forward to reading it.

    tmrtini at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Please enter me. Sounds like you really liked it so I am looking forward to reading it.
    seknobloch(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. This was a wonderful book, so glad that I got to read it with all of you ladies!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Please enter me!

    xxsquigglesxx(At)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. This sounds like a wonderful story. There are so many famous people whose names we all are familiar with, but whose lives and stories we know nothing about.
    By the sound of the blurb, the quality and quantity of work he produced is even more amazing.
    I look forward to finding out more about Monet and reading this book.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like Monet, and your glowing little review makes me want to read it. I throw my hat in the ring. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I read Ms. Cowell's Nicholas Cooke books several years ago, and would love to renew my acquaintance with her excellent writing. Thanks for entering me in the draw!

    ReplyDelete
  34. This book sounds absolutey amazing. I'm really glad you enjoyed it and would love to give it a shot. Please enter me.

    ~Briana
    thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks from the author for all your wonderful comments and your interest! I can be reached through my website and love to hear from people. It's so moving for me that this little book born of so much passion, stubbornness and love can already be reaching such a wide, generous audience.

    Fondly from Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  36. This sounds like such a good book. I can't wait to read it!

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric
    diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow Amy...you sure are busy this month...I'm having trouble keeping these all straight! Just added this to my sidebar...you go girl:D
    Thanks for all the fun, fondly, Roberta

    rlphilbr13@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Want, want, want this one!!!!!
    Thank you for the opportunity!

    christinezeg(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. This looks great! Please enter me!

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

    libneas[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  41. This looks like a fascinating read. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    crittercrazyjen(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  42. thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful book :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oooh, pick me, pick me. I want to read this!! Thanks for giving this away.

    Deborah
    jawetz@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love your blog, thanks for running this contest! I've been a Monet fan all my life and I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I hope I win!!

    Thanks
    tija
    lady00diamond@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love Ms. Cowell's previous works Both Nicholas Cookes and Marrying Mozart (could not find Shakespeare book but I yearn) She does amazing characterization and attention to detal. She sucks you right into the story and you can feel it, see it! I am going to read Claude and Camille and get carried away again!

    annfesATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  46. This looks great. Thanks for the chance. bekki1820cb at gmail

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'd like to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Monet is my favorite artist. I have been to his home and go and see all his paintings wherever they are displayed.

    chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Please add my name for a chance to win a copy of this inspiring-sounding dreamy read! It definitely has a summer fragrance!

    mia.mass@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'd love to win a copy of this, thank you!
    Kristen
    k_springthorpe@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. This sounds really good! Please enter me! Thank you!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  52. This book sounds really good. I like when I am introduced to an artist or composer through a novel. My book group is going to read "Sunflowers" by Sheramy Bundrick for May- looking forward to learning more about Van Gough.

    Heather
    jhstubbs (at) msn (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I just wanted to chime in and say I agree about not being able to put it down and wanting to get back to it as quickly as possible! Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Amy great review, I too will never again look the same at any of his art work.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Please enter me - vvperesk@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hola! Please enter me.

    lolahb at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I've been hearing about this book around the internet. Count me in.

    nancysoffice at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  58. Oh yes, please, enter me for the giveaway, thanks!!

    ~Bella
    Nunezbella at hotmail dotcom

    ReplyDelete
  59. Another great giveaway! Thanks!

    miller4plusmore(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  60. Please enter me :)

    rubs.escalona [at] gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  61. My mom and I are big Monet fans. We'd love to read this!

    chellebcool at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

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