The Painted Girls Paperback – Deckle Edge, Dec 25 2012
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Sketched in rich detail and teeming with suspense. The Painted Girls is hard to put down. (The Globe and Mail)
Buchanan weaves real and fictional characters and their stories to create a rich stew of drunkards, deceivers and ne’er-do-wells, seasoned by the occasional soft-hearted soul, who change the lives of the sisters. (Toronto Star)
The reader is completely absorbed in the struggle of Marie to rise above her circumstances. . . . [A] convincing, heartfelt story. (National Post)
History, coming of age and the art of Degas’s beloved dancers are woven together in this enchanting novel. Utterly captivating. (Vincent Lam, author of The Headmaster's Wager and Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures)
You will be swept away by The Painted Girls. Wonderfully imagined and masterfully rendered . . . [it] will change the way you see the world of ballet, art and the lives it portrays. (Shilpi Somaya Gowda, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Secret Daughter)
About the Author
Cathy Marie Buchanan’s stories have appeared in several of Canada’s most respected literary journals: The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Descant, The New Quarterly and Quarry. She holds a BSC (Honors Biochemistry) and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. Born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, she grew up amid the awe-inspiring scenery of the Niagara River and awash in the local lore. She now resides in Toronto. Visit her website at www.cathymariebuchanan.com
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Top Customer Reviews
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan is a richly detailed story portraying the dark netherworld behind the pretty tutus in Edgar Degas’ paintings. The story seamlessly shifts between the perspectives of the two van Goethem sisters, Antoinette and Marie (Degas’ muse for Little Dancer Aged Fourteen). Reading it, I fell completely into Paris, 1879, and the world of the “petit rats” struggling to elevate their lives through the arduous and elevated work of ballet. Heartbreaking, lyrical, beautiful and a very satisfying read.
It is Paris in the 19th century on the rue de Douai, the poorest street in all of Paris, where the van Goethems live in a lodging. The two main characters in this story are Antoinette and Marie. They take turns in telling their stories.
Antoinette has been just dismissed from Ballet classes at the Paris Opera for arguing with the dance Director and told never to return. Antoinette takes over as mother to her sisters. The sisters are uneducated, poor and too young to get jobs. Their mother stands up and tells Antoinette to take her sisters, Marie and Charlotte, to the Opera Ballet Dance School to be trained to enter the famous Ballet. That is their only chance of making some money and getting out of their situation. They are accepted into the school.
In the meantime, Antoinette gets herself a small walk-on part in a play, which has been adapted from Emile Zola's masterpiece L'Assommoir. She will be playing an ignorant and poverty stricken laundress with a few words. Zola's novel is about poverty in the working-class Paris among the common and ignorant people sweating it out as laundresses etc. The Heroine in this story is named Gervaise and the story tells of her decline into destitution, alcoholism and death. Antoinette meets up with a bushy-haired man named Emile, who also has a small part in the play.Read more ›
I would highly recommend this novel about love, determination and loyalty. I can hardly wait for Cathy's next book! - read less
The plot was great, but there was much color that could have been added to this book -- I only felt it scratched the surface of its possibility
Most recent customer reviews
An enlightening story about a period in history that many people feel acquainted with. Surprising new details are historically accurate. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Based on the true story of Marie Van Goethem, Edgar Degas’ model and inspiration for his statuette La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans, The Painted Girls follows the lives of two... Read morePublished 2 months ago by throwmeabook
I enjoyed the story that Cathy Marie Buchanan spun for us! Spoke much for the depressing and trying times for the poor at this period in history.Published 9 months ago by Janet Begin
Note: The Crown and the Heather was unfortunately never downloaded to my device. I would like to have it as it was a free offer. Read morePublished 10 months ago by helen mclean
A very good read. Historically interesting and a good insight into the life of the working class, in Paris in the 1880's.,Published 10 months ago by Ankaret
Fast delivery, for a gift to my daughter. I know she will love it.
Finally she gets something she likes, rather than the 4 kids getting stuff all the time. Read more
Wonderful imagery. This author can really paint a picture in your mind which makes you feel like you are there with them. I was really drawn to this book and would read it again.Published 16 months ago by Heather Jamieson
i could not finish the book after 25 pages i was absolutely bored so sorry but did not like itPublished 17 months ago by Lorraine Boulais