I've "known" Heather Webb online for a while, and have been impressed with the commentary she shared via social media, both in context to what women can do and the writing craft. I had a suspicion I would enjoy her books.
Blurb from Goodreads: As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness
This book is incredible. I got an advanced copy from Penguin's First to Read program and was in love from the first page to the last. Webb has the ability to weave in historical elements seamlessly, give the reader snippets of French culture as if it is nothing at all, all while writing a compelling and passionate story.
But don't let the title lead you to believe the passion is exclusively romantic. The struggle Camille faces in being a female artist, the way she does whatever she can to continue pursuing her art, instilled in me a deep appreciation for early female artists. I had no idea this woman existed before reading this book, and her depiction here now leaves me grateful for her work.
The storytelling is stunning, descriptions and world building enable the reader to be fully immersed in both time and place. This is the first of Webb's books that I've read.
It will by no means be the last.