Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013, 9:08 am
A story so good I drove an extra block every day just to keep listening. You will never look at Degas' ballet dancers the same way again.
The Painted Girls is the fascinating story of the three Van Goethem sisters as they struggle to survive in 19th century Paris after their father dies and their mother succumbs to absinthe addiction.
Antoinette finds work as a laundress, while Marie and Charlotte begin training as "petit rats" for the French ballet. To earn extra money for lessons, Marie takes a job modeling for Edgar Degas. Degas sketched, painted and sculpted Marie for many of his famous art pieces, including the statuette, "Little Dancer, Aged 14." Pulled in opposite directions as their lives become filled with deception and lies, each girl must make a choice that will change the lives of the other two.
Told in alternating chapters between Antoinette, the saucy older sister, and Marie, the demure middle sister, this is a gripping story steeped in both historical fact and rich storytelling. It is absolutely brilliant the way Buchanan weaves the story of the Van Goethem sisters and the art of Degas with the events of the time period. If you love audiobooks, the audio edition is awesome! The narrators who voice Antoinette and Marie do a great job pronouncing things with a French accent.
Buchanan is an amazing wordsmith. Her writing style, word choices and dialogue bring the story and the time period to life. I am not alone in loving this book; it is getting lots of reader love all over the Internet and has a growing wait list. Reserve your copy today!