Victorine Laurent comes to Paris to join the Opera Ballet. She expects to be the mistress of a wealthy man. That is the only way she can survive in the city. When the artist Degas introduces her to Manet, her live changes forever. She agrees to pose for him and the result is a painting that shocks Paris. Eventually she becomes the favorite of the Duke de Lyon. But he wants her undivided attention and so bans her from seeing Manet. And things go from bad to worse when she finds out a secret about her past that could bring her world crashing around her.
Ms. Finerman is a fabulous writer. She really takes a society and brings its decadence to light. She also is able to take great creative license with the people of that time and present it like it is true. I found the story enchanting cause a lot of it I could see really happening. Her take on the little bits of history were captivating. A deeper look at society was weaved wonderfully in this book.
Victorine was not a woman just out for fortune but she wanted to find security as well. The truth she came to believe would shatter around her and it would be interesting to see how she would deal with all of it. I loved her friend André Montpelier. He was beside her side throughout all her conquests and relationships. He was a true friend to her. The other characters famous like Georges Bizet. Edouard Manet, Monet, Louis Pasteur, and Empress Eugénie just to name a few were fun to read about and see how she painted them. They often did not have much of a roll in the book except for Manet and the Empress but just the mention made me smile.
This book was full of history and life. I was enthralled with the characters from the very beginning. Though at times Victorine did irritate me, she did seem to get her head out of the clouds eventually. It was not an easy time to live in for some aspects but the frivolous spending upset me. I forget how the royalty and other celebrities spend their money. But it was very true to things are even now. If you love history and love seeing how art could have been created than I highly recommend this book.
4/5/ New Author/ France/ Historical/Debra Finerman/304 pages
I really liked this book. Now off to go to a park! later gators!