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Mademoiselle Victorine: A Novel
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Mademoiselle Victorine: A Novel

3.11 of 5 stars 3.11  ·  rating details  ·  73 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
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Apr 13, 2010 ♥BookGeek♥ rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
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
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)
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 1 of 5 stars
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.
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
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.
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
The first book I ever tossed in the recycling bin.
victoria trestrail
easy. entertaining. somewhat of historical fiction.
Erin marked it as to-read
May 16, 2015
Cassandra Mena-bell
Cassandra Mena-bell marked it as to-read
May 13, 2015
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Benjamin Thornton
Benjamin Thornton marked it as to-read
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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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