What I’m Reading: The Painted Girls

I just quit listening to The Painted Girls: A Novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan.

You read that right.  I didn’t finish listening to it…I just quit.  The audio book was loaned to me for 7 days.  I’ve been listening to it on the computer and am to part 7 of the 11 parts.  It expires today and I just don’t care that it does.  I didn’t scramble to move it to my MP3 player.  I didn’t make sure I worked at the computer or in the dining room so I could hear the rest.  I simply didn’t care or have a strong attachment to the characters.

The audio book for me was SLOW.  I can’t imagine what the book would be like.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “1878 Paris. 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, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, 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 modeling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. There she meets a wealthy male patron of the ballet, but might the assistance he offers come with strings attached? Meanwhile Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Émile Abadie, must choose between honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde. 

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.” In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation, if not survival, lies with the other.”

I love historical fiction but this didn’t do it for me.  Amazon readers gave it 4 stars.  That surprised me.  They I read some of the reviews.  Many of the people who rated it 5 stars were French majors or people who loved the ballet or art.  I am none of the three…maybe that’s why I didn’t appreciate the book.  Honestly I can’t even rate it because I didn’t even finish it.

2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Painted Girls”

  1. I’m sorry that you didn’t like the book. I read it earlier this year and enjoyed it but it was SLOW. I’ve always been interested in art, especially sculpture, maybe that’s why I stuck it out..

  2. I just finished listening to this. I listened to the cd version and really enjoyed it. It’s not a fast mover but I enjoyed the sisters and their challenges. I love the paintings from that time period so maybe that’s part of the enjoyment I had.

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