Indiana, an intricately plotted novel, brought Sand instant fame. The touching innocence of Indiana and her maid, the creole Noun, both from French Louisiana, is partly explained by their roots in the United States, a country of which Sand had only vague notions, but of which she wrote with enthusiasm.
When readers first meet Indiana, now in France, she is married to a tyrannical old brute, the retired Colonel Delmare, whom she met in America. Their permanent guest is Indiana’s cousin and childhood sweetheart, Sir Ralph. The situation offers Sir Ralph no scope for action other than small gestures to soften Indiana’s fate, unobtrusively calm her husband, and deflect any dangers that threaten. Indiana regards Sir Ralph as merely insipid and her fate as hopeless.
Wishing to shake his wife from her doldrums and hypochondria, Delmare brings her, at the height of the social season, from rural France to the sophisticated social circles of Paris. Sand makes full use of the contrast of scene. The flower from the wilderness, of course, attracts the attention of the most successful dandy of the moment, Raymon de Ramière. Sir Ralph, who has accompanied the Delmares like a shadow, senses the danger. What few know is that Raymon is already intimately connected to the Delmare household through his torrid affair with the beautiful creole, Noun. When Noun discovers that her rival is her beloved mistress, she commits suicide.
(The entire section is 510 words.)