by George Sand
"So all Indiana's reflections, all her activities, all her sorrows, were linked to nature's terrible, great struggle against civilization. If the island's deserted mountains had been able to hide her for long, she would certainly have taken refuge there on the day she was assaulted. " (p 210)
George Sand was among those nineteenth century female authors who chose to use a male pseudonym for her writing. Born Aurore Dupin, she chose the nom de plume of George sand for this her first novel and subsequent work. In this work Sand creates an entertaining romance built around a dysfunctional family. Around the heroine Indiana she adds a trio of men whose rivalry for Indiana propel the novel. The novel transcends the simple romance with resonance of Balzac-like depiction of social class structure and imbuement of the rival characters with abstract ideals. Thus we have a novel of ideas as well romance and Sand has joined the ranks of those authors who demonstrate their worth with strong debut novels. Another aspect of the novel that I enjoyed was the contrast of the Bourbon island setting with the simple manor house in Brie. This creates and aura that, overlaid with dreams of more exotic locales, gives us a romance that successfully mixes the ideal with the real, the allegorical with the everyday in presenting the story a young French woman.
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