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The Painted Girls

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THE PAINTED GIRLS by Cathy Marie Buchana

The Painted Girls

Current Status:
In Season
Cathy Marie Buchanan
Riverhead Hardcover
Historical Fiction, Fiction

We gave it an A-

Like children at the dinner table, muses are usually relegated to being seen and not heard. The Painted Girls, based on real 19th-century Parisian sisters, gives a vivid voice to two of them: Marie van Goethem, famously bronzed in Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, and her sister Antoinette, a player in the staging of Émile Zola’s working-class masterpiece L’Assommoir. For them there’s no glamour in dancing, modeling, and acting; it’s merely a way to stay (barely) afloat in the slums of Montmartre. If it were Les Miz, they’d break into song. Instead, we get something much richer. A-