The Painted Girls Hardcover
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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
Great book and very enlightening how life was in France for aspiring ballerina in 19th century.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
An enlightening story about a period in history that many people feel acquainted with. Surprising new details are historically accurate. Read morePublished 6 months 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 7 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 15 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 15 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 15 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 21 months ago by Heather Jamieson