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The Painted Girls

by Cathy Marie Buchanan

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2013, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2014, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer Dawson Oakes

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RetiredReaderNE

Paris, Dancers and Art
I read an AVC and this is my favorite book of 2013. The dark side of Paris comes alive with vivid descriptions of slum living and how exploited the young dancers at the Paris Opera are. We get glimpses of Degas and his work. We feel the physical pain of the young girls as their are forced to dance on empty stomachs and poise for their patrons in the hope of getting enough money to help feed their families. I couldn't put this book down and recommend it for book groups.
Power Reviewer Diane S.

The Painted Girls
Paris in 1873, but not the beautiful Paris filled with beautiful people, but the people trying to survive. The washerwomen, those who take in sewing, those who are hungry and those who will do anything to feed their families. Three sisters, a mother addicted to absinthe, and the girls using ballet as a means to make a little money and hopefully a way to better themselves. This was the part of the novel I liked best, the way the sisters tried to take care of each other. Marie, the middle girl, end up modeling for Degas, makes a little extra money and makes some very bad decisions. The sights, sounds and yes even the squalor of Paris are wonderfully emoted by the author. Degas, the arts, ballet, theater are all added bonuses. The tone is dark, this is the darkside of the glamour we think of when we think of dance,theater and art. There is a murder trial, many societal changes and we get a front row seat while reading this atmospheric novel. ARC from publisher.
Louise C

eye opening historical novel
I was intrigued to find out more about the artist when I picked up this book. I got a lot more than I expected! Beautifully written, this book describes a time I knew existed, but had never read the depth of it before. The author brings to life the extreme struggles of the poor residents in Paris during "La Belle Epoque" The truth is, it was not always beautiful! A real eye opener!
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