BookBrowse Reviews The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

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The Painted Girls

by Cathy Marie Buchanan

The Painted Girls
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2013, 368 pages
    Feb 2014, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer Dawson Oakes

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About this Book



Set during France's Belle Epoque, The Painted Girls shows the seedy underbelly of ballet while also shining light on the complex dynamics between sisters

A documentary about the real-life model for Edgar Degas' famous sculpture, Little Dancer of Fourteen Years (La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans), captured author Cathy Marie Buchanan's interest and set her on a course to bring the dancer's story to life.

Little Dancer of Fourteen Years The Painted Girls is the result of Buchanan's meticulous research and it is a wonderful novel of historical fiction that is also a lovely tribute to a girl many would otherwise never know. Buchanan creates a vivid world – that of Paris during the early years of the Belle Époque (see 'Beyond the Book'). This era was a time of growth in art and literature. As well, the Industrial Revolution allowed for continued advances in science and technology. While the Belle Époque may conjure images of beauty, optimism and art, it also had a seedy underbelly. Buchanan does not shy away from showing readers this world, and what ...

You can watch the BBC documentary about Degas' famous sculpture, Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, by clicking on the video below:

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