The Reinvention of Love

The Reinvention of Love

A Novel

Book - 2011
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When Charles Sainte-Beuve, an ambitious French journalist, meets Victor Hugo, a young writer on the verge of fame, he finds himself in a world of great passions, a world in which words can become swords. But, to Charles' surprise, he is more attracted to Victor's long-suffering wife, Ad#65533;le. When the two lovers create a scandale in Paris, Victor exacts his price for betrayal.

Set during the tumultuous reign of Napoleon III, and sweeping from France to the Channel Islands, to Halifax and back, The Reinvention of Love draws a rich portrait of the old city, where duels are fought in its parks and cholera-ridden bodies float in the Seine. Along its narrow, crime-filled streets, noble families and artists--Chopin, George Sand, Alexandre Dumas--mix with ordinary citizens, still restless with ideas of revolution. And towering over all is the enormous talent of Victor Hugo, who is quickly becoming the voice of France to the world.

The Reinvention of Love turns historical fact into an atmospheric, delicately wrought story of inescapable family ties and forbidden love.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781554684434
Branch Call Number: F HUM NVD
Characteristics: 312 p. ; 21 cm

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quagga Aug 20, 2013

A fascinating and intimate slice of Paris during the turbulence of the early 19th century. Highly recommended to fans of literary historical fiction based on real people.

u
uncommonreader
Aug 02, 2013

This novel tells the story of Charles Sainte-Beuve, a French journalist and very well-known literary critic, and his affair with Adele Hugo in 19th century Paris. The story itself is somewhat odd and although based on real events, it is not evocative of the time or French culture. Also, I found Humphreys' use of tenses sometimes confusing.

k
KarenW
Jul 31, 2013

Beautifully written account of a love affair that leaves the reader with so many images after the last page. The language that the author uses to describe the two main characters is sublime. And up until the very end, I could not believe that their love could not transcend the awful circumstances of their personal lives. I just kept rooting for their triumph to be complete.

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ms_mustard
Apr 09, 2013

didn't know when I picked this up that it was about Hugo and didn't think I wanted to know about him, but having read and enjoyed all of Humphreys' earlier books in the past year, I proceeded through a hesitant start and was rewarded by her usual seemingly effortless writing.

Well crafted historical novel based on the love affair of Victor Hugo's 'shadow' wife and his obsequious literary critic Charles [who sometimes dressed as Charlotte for the lover's clandestine meetings]. Interesting parade of the literati of Paris in the 19th century aftermath of Napoleonic wars. Hugo is portrayed as a bully and an egomaniac who ruined the lives of his children and flaunted his mistress resulting in the ruination of the families’ reputation. Humphries meets her reader's expectations for excellent writng and well developed characthers struggling against a complex historical background. I always enjoy the work of this author.

a
azor
Apr 28, 2012

Not my favourite Humphreys' novel.

wendybird Feb 22, 2012

A lovely book, well worth your time. A fictional account of the romantically tangled lives of Victor Hugo, his wife Adele, and his colleague Charles Sainte-Beuve, appropriately & believably set in 19th century France. The first person voices (Charles, Adele, Hugo's maligned daughter Dede) pull the past close, make it fragile & real & fleeting.

lysiasroad Oct 27, 2011

Not as good as her earlier novels but still a very good read with interesting characters.

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EPLGreatStuff_Lindy Oct 01, 2013

We live two doors apart on Notre-Dame-des-Champs. He is also my dear friend. I am also in love with his wife.

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