The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie BuchananThe Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

The Painted Girls

byCathy Marie Buchanan

Paperback | April 15, 2014

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Paris, 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opera, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged 14. Meanwhile, Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous émile Abadie, must choose between honest labour and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde. Set at 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.” In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation—her survival, even—lies with the other.

Cathy Marie Buchanan’sThe Painted Girlsis a #1 National Bestseller in Canada, aNew York Timesbestseller, and has garnered rave reviews and been showered with special attention—everything from selection as aPeople Magazinepick to inclusion inEntertainment Weekly’s“Must List” to being named a best book of 2013 by NPR,Good Housekeepingand...
Title:The Painted GirlsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.94 inPublished:April 15, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:144341235X

ISBN - 13:9781443412353


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Read Usually when we see a piece of art, we don't question the subjects behind it and it was interesting to see the story behind the Little Dancer. Although the story was fiction, it did have elements that are factual and it was clear the author did her research. The only "problem" I had with the plot were just little things that didn't quite make sense to me. It was hard for me to sympathize with Antoinette and the ending was okay to me. Overall a pretty unique read that tells what went on behind the stage of the Paris Opera at that time.
Date published: 2018-05-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Painted Girls It took a while for me to get into the story but once I got past the first 100 pages I enjoyed it. I was interest in the connection with Degas and the model.
Date published: 2014-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great historical fiction! This book was selected as one of our book club books. The title, unfortunately, made most members think that the book was going to be about prostitution! However, after cracking the spine, we found that the book is actually about a set of three sisters who are growing up in Paris in the 1800s in the ballet. The book flips between Antoinette (the oldest sister) and Marie (the middle sister) tell the story about their family's struggle to stay afloat, the social pressures of the time, and how easy it is to lose everything, and how hard it is to climb out again. Tying the book together is the painter, Degas, who is using Marie as a model for the famous sculpture, Little Dancer. The book is based on actual characters and historical fact, but Buchanan uses her literary imagination to fill in the gaps, and make a plausible story that will have you not wanting to put the book down. By far, my favourite character was Antoinette, as you could feel her struggle to maintain her own sense of self, yet keep her duty to look after her family. The story is rich in description with in-depth characters that will keep you thinking about them long after you have finished the story. Even better, the book is Canadian! Be sure to look up Degas' art while you read the story! I highly recommend this historical fiction.
Date published: 2014-05-08

Editorial Reviews

“Beautiful and haunting. From the first page, I was swept up and enchanted.”