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The Painted Girls (2012)

The Painted Girls (2012)
3.61 of 5 Votes: 1
1594486247 (ISBN13: 9781594486241)
Riverhead books/Penguin USA
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The Painted Girls (2012)
The Painted Girls (2012)

About book: Recent winner of the Ontario Library Association's Evergreen fiction for 2014, Cathy Marie Buchanan transported me to another place and time with this story of sisters surviving all the odds against them in 1880s Paris. I love it when a book prompts me to do more research and I've spent the week since finishing it searching out Degas, Zola and even maps of Paris. As a secondary school teacher-librarian, I will recommend this book to my mature readers. There is one scene where Antoinette performs sexual acts that are too adult for my intermediate readers, but the rest of the book is magnificently constructed. The plot and setting are steeped in art, history and most importantly, the sacrifices that sisters make for each other. In trying to escape their circumstances, the sisters come to realize the importance of staying true to each other. Buchanan has filled her website with Degas' studies for his ballet paintings and sculptures and includes her memoirs of her own research trip to Paris for this book. I can't wait until she writes another book and I sincerely hope it is similar in proposing a fictionalized story behind works of art. I thought the beginning of the book was a tad slow but as it progressed it became captivating. The life of three sisters...Antoinette, Marie and Charlotte growing g up in Paris with a dead father and an alcoholic mother in poverty and sadness. The Paris opera with its structure and high demands was a chance for any poor "rat" to perhaps have a life of fame while enduring the shadowy depth of abuse and favors to get there. Degas and many artists of that time used the pupils of the opera as subjects in their revolutionary expressionism. The book portrays the struggle of the three sisters in a believabl
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One of my favorite recent reads....if you like historical fiction...women stories...
Nice historical fiction novel about actual people and events. Enjoyed
Great read.
3.5 stars
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