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Mademoiselle Victorine: A Novel
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Mademoiselle Victorine: A Novel

3.15  ·  Rating Details ·  81 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
When Victorine Laurent joins the chorus of the grand Paris Opera ballet, she expects to become the mistress of a wealthy man; this is how young women without family survive in the decadent City of Light. Yet when the artist Degas introduces her to Edouard Manet, her life changes dramatically. She agrees to pose for him, and the result is a painting that shocks Paris. Overn ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published July 24th 2007 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Most Inaccurate Historical Fiction
79th out of 82 books — 174 voters
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Community Reviews

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Apr 13, 2010 ♥BookGeek♥ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who like to read about French history, art history or historical fiction in general
All Victorine Lauraunt ever wanted was financial security. Her mother had left her with a pair of her servants who gave her a miserable childhood. at a young age, she had sent her to Paris to make her way in the world. After several years as a ballerina in the Paris Opera house, she gets introduced to Edouard Manet, who immediately takes her on as a model. As her first scandalous painting is revealed to the public, her social status grows higher and higher. As her paintings grow more scandalous, ...more
Jun 10, 2008 liz rated it really liked it
I've been a huge art buff since I was wee, and it was really really thrilling to read about Manet, Degas, Monet, and others as fully fleshed-out characters. To say nothing of Baudelaire! Mademoiselle Victorine is a composite of two real-life women, Countess Virginia de Castigione and Victoirine Meurent. In the book, Victoirine is a ballerina turned kept woman turned bona-fide concubine who serves as Manet's greatest inspiration. The relationship they have is truly wonderful, and I found her to b ...more
Sep 04, 2014 Tanya rated it really liked it
This book was really great and full of such opulent splendor. I really enjoy reading this time period. The characters were so great and to realize that so many brilliant people occupied the same space in time, in such a historical setting was really brought to life. The backdrops were resplendent and colorful and imaginative with vivid details of scenery and characters. Wonderful book.
Mar 04, 2008 Erica rated it liked it
My love for 19th-century French literature, art, and music goes back to my time as a French major in college, thus the reason I decided to read this book. The relationships between the authors, artists, and composers of the time have always fascinated me, so for that reason alone, I enjoyed much of this book. (In my opinion, any book that features an appearance by Hector Berlioz is already at least 3-stars!) Unfortunately, I can't give this book a higher rating than that. While I found the story ...more
Jul 20, 2009 Caitlin rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009
I tend to be pretty compulsive about finishing every book that I start. It is very very rare for me to put one down unfinished. This book was one of those rare exceptions.

Turgid, stilted prose. Flat cardboard characters. Criminally dull treatment of an interesting period in art & literary history.

This was awful & I didn't finish it & I'm not sorry.
Rebecca Huston
Another book from 2007 that I was unhappy with. This time, the subject is Paris in the 1800's, and the model who posed for Manet's Olympia. What really bothers me is that I was so looking forward to reading this one, and instead, what I got was not very good.

For a more complete review, please go here:
Elisha (lishie)
Oct 08, 2009 Elisha (lishie) rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and how could I not? The main story centers around Eduard Manet and his muse, Victorine Laurent (also Courtesan to the rich & powerful) and has appearances by Berliosz, Victor Hugo, George Sand, Monet, Degas, Whistler and many other known public figures of the time. I loved reading about the time period in Paris.
Nov 12, 2010 Ramonel rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: anyone who would like to kill himself and doesn't know how
Shelves: crap
Finerman really has a talent to create questions in the reader's mind that make him/her continue reading about the main character but in the end she screws up turning her entire work and effort into a murderous predictable soap opera. Yuck! Never going to read anything else from her.
Dec 30, 2012 Michele rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned, 2012
As enchanted as I am with Paris & art, and with my interest in courtesans, I expected to love this book. Alas, I did not. About halfway through I grew bored with the characters and found none of them likeable or interesting enough to continue.
Lovely Rita
Jan 17, 2014 Lovely Rita rated it liked it
This almost read like real-person fanfic using historical characters (specifically the painter Manet) and the authors made-up characters. I didn't know a lot about this time period so it was kind of interesting to read a story set in it.
Samantha Pajor
It took a little bit to get into it, but I'm so glad I kept reading. I really liked the characters and it was great to see them on their personal journies with the backdrop of French history.
Found it disappointing in that the use of real people is mixed too liberally with composite characters. I was really annoyed with that by the end of the book.
Nov 05, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
I liked this book. It is in a similar vein as Phillipa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, but appropriately shorter.
Mar 03, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who read books
I enjoyed reading this book, but I had to keep in mind that it was historical fiction- not to take anything as real.
Sep 04, 2008 Sarah rated it did not like it
The first book I ever tossed in the recycling bin.
victoria trestrail
Aug 14, 2011 victoria trestrail rated it liked it
easy. entertaining. somewhat of historical fiction.
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Debra Finerman is an American writer born in Tokyo who lives part-time in Paris. She was inspired to write her latest novel, SHADOW WAR, by the plaques affixed to walls and bridges throughout Paris dedicated to the brave, often painfully young Resistance Fighters who died on the spot, shot by Nazi patrols. During research for this book, she traveled to the Imperial War Museum in London and to Resi ...more
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