Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: Painted Girls

The reason I have a whole section on books on this blog is I am a book-a-holic.  No Kindles, etc. either.  I like good ol' paper books.  I am ALWAYS reading something.  People frequently ask me when I have the time.  The answer is, it is part of my bedtime routine.  Sometimes I read for just 5 minutes before drifting off to sleep, sometimes a whole hour.  Either way, it is how I unwind and relax. Also, if I have to take the bus or subway to work rather than bicycle, I always tote along some reading.  I even bring books with me to the office to read in between clients.

I just finished The Painted Girls, which my mother-in-law loaned to me, and I loved it so much I had to share.  It is written by a Canadian, Cathy Marie Buchanan.  I have to say, Canada has so many fabulous writers, it's really incredible.  Oh, and in case you didn't hear, our very own Alice Munro just won the 2013 literature Nobel Prize!

Anyways, The Painted Girls is about a family with 3 young daughters in 19th century Paris.  Two of the daughters are involved in the ballet, but don't worry, even if dancing isn't your thing, you'll love this book.  It's not really about dancing at all, although it does provide an interesting account of what it must have been like for most girls involved in the ballet back then (not at all glamorous and very tough!!).

The book was inspired by the work of Edgar Degas, and builds on some of the real life events surrounding the subjects of some of his art, including the Van Goethem sisters and the criminals featured in his work, Criminal Physionomies.

Honestly, I absolutely adored this book.  The characters are engaging and the story provides an interesting snapshot of the Belle Epoque period of Paris history.