george sand is phenomenal in all she writes... this was her first book... reading her stuff is a must... hey, she was friends with Chopin, Balzac, Delacroix, Heine, Liszt and Flaubert
Reviewer: A. G. Plumb "Greg Plumb" (Melbourne, Australia) -
I recently read a biography of George Sand and it stimulated an interest in reading some of her novels. It wasn't easy to find some, but I did manage to buy 'Indiana' and 'Mauprat' through a second-hand dealer. 'Indiana' is an interesting story of relationships especially between husbands and wives, men and women, nobility and commoners, family and strangers. The central marraige is uncharacteristic of modern Western society in that an older wealthy man has married a young woman for the status of it - he is no more than her friend, and often not even that. But there are many ways in which marraiges can fail either the woman or the man in modern Western society and consequently, for me, the symptoms of what goes on in this novel - even if not the causes - are current in modern society.
Sand's story is engaging and generally well paced. It does seem a bit like a soap opera sometimes. It also rushes to an unsatisfactory ending - a bit like the end of 'Well of Loneliness', which appalled me. But then Sand has a surprise for me - although I have a sneaking feeling that it might be an afterthought, a rewrite. What is distinctive about Sand's writing is her ability to create a visionary scene - like the one where Raymon rails against the picture of Indiana's cousin Ralph hanging in Indiana's bedroom (Raymon is there with his lover of the time - Indiana's serving girl Noun). And then there is the extraordinary scene where Indiana almost drowns in the river only to be rescued by Ralph - we see the world transform itself from Indiana's perspective in the most unsettling way.
I enjoyed this novel immensely and look forward to reading more of Sand's writing.