Publication Date: January 2013
Categories: Literary, Historical
1878 Paris. 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 from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.
My Quick Thoughts:
Ahh, historical fiction. When you are done right I LOVE you with the fiery intensity of a thousand suns! The Painted Girls is done right. Paris, poverty, alcoholism, ballet, theater, prison, love, sisters, Edgar Degas! A seriously fantastic read that I can’t recommend highly enough.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: February 2013
Categories: Contemporary Women, Historical
Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It’s a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.
Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle’s guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.
My Quick Thoughts:
I enjoyed when the book took me back to Isabelle’s youth in the 1940’s. While I was reading Dorrie’s present-day tale I just wanted to get back to Isabelle’s past. This subject matter has been done, and done better. I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from reading Calling Me Home but take it for what it is: a decent read.
Have you read either of these? Do you plan on it?