The Painted Girls

Cathy Marie Buchanan. Riverhead, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59448-624-1
The struggle of three sisters in 19th-century Paris blossoms into the rich history of Marie van Goethem, model for Edgar Degas's controversial statue, Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, in Buchanan's new novel (after The Day the Falls Stood Still). When their father dies, teen sisters Antoinette, Marie, and Charlotte are left to fend for themselves, since their mother's meager wages often dissolve into absinthe. Knowing their best chance for advancement lies in the ballet, Antoinette, an extra at the Opéra, get her sisters auditions. Both are accepted as "petit rats," but to everyone's surprise, bookish Marie actually shows talent for dance, and pays for food and private lessons by modeling for the mysterious Edgar Degas. Meanwhile, Antoinette, who has been guardian to her sisters, begins a love affair with Émile Abadie, a young man of questionable character. As Marie's modeling for Degas leads to the interest of a patron of the ballet, Émile is arrested for the murder of a local tavern owner, driving a wedge between the devoted sisters. Though history loses track of Émile Abadie, implicated in three murders, and Marie Van Goethem after Degas's statuette is criticized as "ugly" with the "promise of every vice" on the girl's face, Buchanan captures their story in this engrossing depiction of belle epoque Paris. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, WME Entertainment. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 01/10/2013
Hardcover - 553 pages - 978-1-4104-5777-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-4755-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-4708-4758-6
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-60379-6
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4708-4761-6
Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-4434-1236-0
Paperback - 397 pages - 978-1-59463-229-7
Prebound-Glued - 416 pages - 978-0-606-35147-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-4756-2
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