USA Today reviews The Painted Girls as part of a historical fiction round up.
“For her new novel, The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan drew inspiration from the Edgar Degas sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, and the waif who posed for it in the late 19th century. Buchanan’s historical fiction follows Marie van Goethem and her sisters, Antoinette and Charlotte, through Belle Epoque Paris, which apparently wasn’t as enchanting for poor, fatherless young girls. Alternately narrated by Marie, the intelligent, ambitious middle child, and Antoinette, the eldest, the tale involves an alcoholic mother and a number of shady men, from the suspicious urchin who woos Antoinette to a wealthy older man who lures Marie to his art studio with a rather different purpose than Degas’. A pair of crimes possibly involving the urchin adds an element of suspense; but Girls ultimately draws its greatest tension, and warmth, from conflicts that develop between these little women, and the bond that nonetheless endures.” —USA Today
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