Thursday, October 17, 2013
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchannan
Three narrators -- Cassandra Campbell, Julia Whelan and Danny Campbell -- contribute to the audio production, which I downloaded via the library's subscription to Hoopla. It's 12.5 hours long and kept me enthralled.
Buchanan centers her story on a real person, Marie van Goethem, who posed for Degas' famous statue, the one called Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. (See art images mentioned in the book on the author's website.) Marie and her sisters are realistically portrayed, scrabbling to survive in their miserable situation. Fierce bonds of love, their dreams for the future, and the disillusionment of betrayals make for an emotional tale. At our book discussion, we agreed that the happy ending was implausible, but the alternative would have been very sad indeed.
Readalikes: The Little Shadows (Marina Endicott); Les Miserables (Victor Hugo).