From Cathy Marie Buchanan's site: A heartrending, gripping novel set in belle époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged 14 and by the era's most famous criminal trials. 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 seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet and meet Edgar Degas. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds employment—and the love of a dangerous young man—as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s Naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. 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.”
This is the little statuette mention in the book. Marie was devastated when she read in the newspaper that the critics said her face was ugly. I disagree. It is a lovely statuette. You can see it at these museums. I guess Degas changed his mind and had bronzes made after all.
You can find Degas' art here. Look for Marie in these - "Dancer with Fan”, “Dancing Lesson”, “Dancer Resting”.
Marie and her sisters were real people. Their lives broke my heart. I really felt for these girls. I think this lifestyle was indicative of the time they lived in. I wanted to shake their mother and tell her to snap out of it!I was so very happy that this novel had a happy ending!