That is exactly what she is, first and foremost an actress, first and foremost a drama queen
Born illiterately, her mother an high-class courtesan, never showed her any love, in fact she was cold, and heartless, giving her love more to her "suitors" who attended her salon. Taken away from her Nana as a youngster, she sent to a convent where she stayed for 7 years. As a Jew, nevertheless she attended the Catholic boarding school, paid for her by her father who paid the fee for her schooling and board.
It was after she left the convent that she was able to join the Comedie Française with the help of one of her mother's suitors, Duke of Morny. There were others who came to help her, the author Alexandre Dumas who also used his influence, calling her "my little star." But, with her volatile personality ,it wasn't long before she caused a scandal and was dismissed from the theatre. Facing struggles, trying to assert her independence and earn some decent money, she even became a courtesan and found herself pregnant. Not wanting to have an abortion, she was denied the responsibility and any financial by the aristocrat who was the father. She gave birth to a son, Maurice Bernhardt.
The family's battles continued, her mother having two more illegitimate children, her aunt Rosine also became a courtesan, both women paying less attention to Sarah. After the birth of her son Maurice, to support herself and her son, Sarah played minor roles and was an understudy at popular melodrama theater. Her breakthrough performance was in a play written by Dumas, in which she had the leading role. Eventually she received an invitation to come back to the Comedie Française wherein she took the most famous and demanding roles. She toured both England and America with much success, becoming the "Divine Sarah."
She honored her craft, meeting famous writers along the way, as well as admirers such as Oscar Wilde, the Rothschilds and other notables of those times. This book was exquisite in its detail, it was a pleasure to read this book, it was outstanding. Highly recommended.
My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.