The Painted Girls


This historical novel looks back at one of the ballet girls that Degas painted. It sticks to facts he really did paint Marie van Goethem and create a statue of her, her younger sister really was in the ballet too and Emile Abadie really was on trail. It just links the two together to show some of the trails faced by young women at the time - especially the poor ones!


It's uncomfortable reading at times and I don't know enough about the period to account for its accuracy completely but it's a great read posing questions about art, social climbing, responsibility and fate.


'Cathy Marie Buchanan paints the girls who spring from the page as vibrantly as a dancer's leap across a stage . . . The Painted Girls is a captivating story of fate, tarnished ambition and the ultimate triumph of sister-love' The Washington Post

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