Camille Doncieux’s Story – Historical Fiction by Stephanie Cowell

Stephanie Cowell tells us the story about Claude Monet, through the eyes of his first wife, Camille Doncieux. It is called Claude & Camille and it is a wonderful historical fiction novel.

Fabulous historical fiction book about Monet and his first wife

The author Stephanie Cowell captures in her book the inner life of Monet and his beloved wife Camille Doncieux .

So Who is Camille Doncieux?

Camille is the romantic teenager who falls in love with Monet. Her parents do not approve of her marrying a no-hoper artist with wild ideas. But Camille loves him and remains devoted to Monet despite all their hardships.

Painting of Camille and their son in the garden
Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We Learn About Claude Monet’s Hardships through Camille Doncieux’s Eyes

Today, Monet is incredibly famous and his landscapes are studied, viewed and loved by millions everywhere in the world.

However, it is interesting to read and understand how radical his art was during his time. Because his painting style defied the rules of the time, the book describes how difficult it was for him to gain acceptance and obtain recognition in the art world. This was difficult and stressful for him and his wife as they were barely surviving financially.

The book portrays the depth of Monet‘s passion for painting, often painting in the freezing cold weather day after day, from a deep commitment to his art.

It was at times heartbreaking reading about the emotional turmoil of wanting to pursue his art and his struggle to make a living so that he could provide Camille with a comfortable life. 

This is a wonderful historical fiction book that I hope you will enjoy! Let me know what you think!

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For more wonderful art historical fiction books about Monet and the Impressionists, check out my other recommendations below: