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The Painted Girls

Cover: 'The Painted Girls'

Staff Review: "The Painted Girls" by Cathy Marie Buchanan


The Painted Girls takes place in Paris in 1878 and tells the story of the Van Goethem sisters, who love to dance. The family is surviving until the father dies and the sisters are raised by their mother, a laundress with a drinking problem. 

The oldest girl is Antoinette, who must take over the role of the mother. She is an extra at the ballet school of the Paris Opera House and mends ballet shoes and clothes for her sisters. Although Antoinette is street smart, she gets involved with a boy that takes advantage of her and is involved in criminal activities. She soon needs to make a decision if she wants to pursue an honest living or a more profitable (but not-so-legal) career.

Marie has some education and is very smart. She is a good dancer and advances within the ballot school while also becoming a model, and eventually meets a wealthy man of the ballet. 

Charlotte the youngest of the three girls, is the prettiest and most selfish.

As the girls' lives interweave, they come to realize that their salvation depends on each other.

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

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