Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell
In Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet, Stephanie Cowell renders a poignant picture of the artist’s life with his first great love, the alluring Camille Doncieux, who became his favorite and most frequently painted model. The story begins in Le Havre, France, as Monet tries to break away from the ties of his father to pursue his dream of painting. After moving to Paris, his life is enriched by the friendships of other artists, who would come to be known as the “Impressionists”. Into this world of a struggling but determined artist steps the beautiful Camille, who becomes his lover and ardent supporter. Throughout their passionate life together, Claude’s intense desire to paint and his hopes for success are tempered by the reality of the often insurmountable expenses of supporting himself, Camille, and their sons. Camille’s love for Claude and her belief in his artistic genius are tested by the distress of their sometimes bleak circumstances, the estrangement of her family, and life with a temperamental artist. This is a sensitive, captivating story of love and art.