Synopsis ( from the book jacket):
Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modeling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen. Antoinette, meanwhile, descends lower and lower in society, and must make the choice between a life of honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde – that is, unless her perilous love derails her completely.
Set in a moment of profound artistic, cultural and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.”
Cathy Marie Buchanan is the author of The Day the Falls Stood Still, a New York Times bestseller, a Barnes and Noble Recommends selection and one of the Canada Reads Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade. She holds a BSc (Honors, Biochemistry) and an MBA from Western University. Born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, she now resides in Toronto.
Those who read my review of The Day the Falls Stood Still already know I am a fan of Cathy Marie Buchanan. When I learned The Painted Girls would be released in Canada (but not the US) before I would depart on my recent vacation, I happily went online and paid the few extra bucks to have the Canadian version shipped to me.
The novel did not disappoint. Edgar Degas is there in the wings, endlessly watching and sketching, his intentions as much a mystery in the novel as they likely were in life. Buchanan’s classical ballet training is evident, though readers need not have any technical knowledge of dance to grasp what happens in Marie’s classes or feel her palpable love of performing.
|Photo by Deborah Downes|
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