Maria - selfish, expecting unconditional love from her husband and children even though she's having an affair that will tear their family apart.
She justifies her behaviour at every turn but struggles to be responsible for the way things turn out.
She hopes that future generations will understand and accept that it's possible to love 2 men and for these 2 men to have no "connection" (and therefore no reason to feel hurt) because the love she has for them is so different!
I'm not sure that future generations will understand betrayal, dishonesty, unfaithfulness and irresponsibility any differently that we do now! I'm not sure why Maria thinks this kind of behaviour will ever be considered okay. We might understand Maria's particular motivations, but I doubt that we can ever admire her or like her.
Even in George Sands' time this type of behaviour was not considered honorable (even though Maria believes it was more accepted as a common practice and therefore okay).
Sands' life reads as being very unhappy and difficult.
She had a desperate need to be needed. As a result, Sand got entangled in inappropriate relationships with the predictable results of alienating the ones she wanted to love her.
I felt very annoyed with this book (although not enough to stop reading) and was taking a dislike against the author as well, until page 221.
Maria complains to her friend, "And what I long for - this may sound stupid - is for someone to just be there. To love me whatever I do."
Her friend responds firmly, "Love like that is for babies. You can't be loved whatever you do. You have to be someone good, to be loved. People can't just love you for existing."
"Hmmm. Well maybe. You don't believe in unconditional love?"
"Yes I do, but it's for babies. You have to be worthy of love"
Thank god! Someone finally gets it!
I was curious about my strong reaction to this book and Maria in particluar. Loyalty, honesty and faithfulness are very important character traits to me so Maria was never going to be a kindred spirit. But I was disappointed with George Sand as portayed in this book. I enjoy her writing and have always wanted to know more...now I'm not so sure.