BOOK REVIEW: CAMILLE CLAUDEL: A NOVEL BY ALMA H. BOND, Ph.D.
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This book is the work of fiction and was completed by Camille during the many years she was confined to a mental institution.
Camille Claudel will always be known for her love affair with Auguste Rodin. The book is divided into three sections: The Early Years, The Rodin Years and The Asylum Years.
Camille came from a family with a history of bipolar disease. When Camille was very young she loved to play in the mud and shape tiny people. Her father noticed the little figures and complimented Camille on the good work she did. He told Camille he would get her some real clay to work with. Camille's mother was very unloving. Camille blamed this lack of affection on the death of her mother's baby boy. When Camille was born, her mother was disappointed because she wanted another boy. Then fourteen months later a daughter, Louise, was born. Camille knew this was always the daughter her mother wanted. Camille did feel some closeness to her father and brother.
Later on in life Camille falls in love with the artist, Rodin. After a ten-year relationship it ended. He did not want to marry her and still maintained a relationship with another woman. However, during the years they were together, Rodin did encourage her artwork.
After their break-up, Camille starts to suffer some paranoia about Rodin. Her mother has her committed to a mental institution where she remained for thirty years until her death.
Camille writes with very descriptive details about her years in the institution. The reader will feel like they are right there with Camille.
Dr. Alma Bond has written a novel that is a compelling read. Even though this is a work of fiction, she makes it seem so real. She writes about Camille almost as if she once lived inside Camille's body for a period of time - it is that good. The author does an excellent job of making the reader feel the pain that Camille had gone through during her life. This book is highly recommended.