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The Painted Girls
Cathy Marie Buchanan

Riverhead
January 2013
On Sale: January 10, 2013
Featuring: Marie van Goethem; Antoinette van Goethem
368 pages
ISBN: 1594486247
EAN: 9781594486241
Kindle: B008U4BQWO
Hardcover / e-Book
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Fiction | Historical

A heartrending novel set in belle époque Paris, inspired by the real-life model for Edgar Degas's Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and a notorious criminal trial of the era.

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, fourteen-year-old Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for the scant salary of seventy francs a month 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 Fourteen. Antoinette, meanwhile, descends lower and lower in society, and must make the choice between a life of honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde—that is, unless her love affair derails her completely.

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."

Media Buzz

Good Morning Texas - Buy The Book - February 25, 2013
Weekend Edition Saturday - January 12, 2013

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