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The Painted Girls

Author: Cathy Marie Buchanan

This book is set in 19th century Paris, and is told from the viewpoints of two sisters, Marie and Antoinette.  After losing their father, they are left with an alcoholic mother and another sister, who doesn't play a huge role in the book.

Antoinette is employed as an extra at a ballet company, and her two sisters secure posts as dancers as a way to make a little money so they can have food and housing.  The book speaks to the abuse some of these dancers took, doled out by rich men who visited the ballet and offered them large amounts of money for their "services", money which they sorely needed as most were poor to begin with and poorly paid.

Also entering in the story is the famous artist Degas, who uses one of the sisters as a model.

Although the book sounds interesting, I found myself fast forwarding through parts as it does become very repetetive.  It's not a bad book by any means, and it's worth a look at, but while it grabbed my interest initially, it quickly lost it.