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Archive: Other Books > Belle Epoque: 4 Stars

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message 1: by Kimberly (last edited Aug 08, 2018 10:50PM) (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 753 comments Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

Belle Epoque, Elizabeth Ross

★ ★ ★ ★

How would you like to be considered ugly? If you were poor, single, in a Huge City & in need a good paying job; would you accept employment based on what others perceive based on your looks?

That is the basis of this book: working in Paris as a Repoussoir, a plain companion that makes the woman who has employed her appear by comparison much fairer than she actually is.

Maude Pinchon has run away from a small town, where her father was planning to marry her to the local butcher.

As a Repoussoir to Isabelle, a local heiress whose mother is planning for Isabelle's marriage; Maude turns out to be more of a friend to Isabelle, who as it turns out has no intention of getting married, but plans instead to study science at the Sorbonne.

When it all comes crashing down around both women, both Isabelle & Maude team up to show the aristocracy for what it is....

I liked the story, I liked the characters... The women were strong, the men, meh, not-so-much! I liked that beauty bloomed no matter the looks of the girls and there was heart underneath the dejection.

What made this book make more of an impression on me was Maude's interest in photography & her thoughts, which mirror my own: "Using the camera as my tool, I hope to find that elusive inner light in the subjects that I photograph, both people & places, and to really see - see the truth and beauty of an instant.... With photography, as with any art, you are given the gift of connection, when you can say to a stranger: 'Look! I have something to tell you, I have something to say.'"

Thank-you LibraryCin....


message 2: by Joanne (last edited Aug 09, 2018 10:14AM) (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7895 comments Good review! I have been looking at this book, doubt I will get it to it for this month, but it is on my TBR list now.


message 3: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 753 comments Joanne wrote: "Good review! I have been looking at this book, doubt I will get it to it for this month, but it is on my TBR list now."

Thank-you, enjoy!


message 4: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8646 comments Yay! I am so glad you liked it!

Joanne, I hope you like it, as well (when you get there!).


message 5: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Ann (auntie-nanuuq) | 753 comments LibraryCin wrote: "Yay! I am so glad you liked it!

Joanne, I hope you like it, as well (when you get there!)."


It is not only a compelling read, it touches upon the societal view of "beauty".

What was acceptable at the time and how one who was considered "ugly" might enhance the beauty of a "plain" high society débutante, in order to make the débutante shine, in comparison to her paid (ugly) companion


message 6: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6028 comments If the "social commentary" tag ever comes up again, I think this sounds like it would be a great fit.


message 7: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8646 comments Book Concierge wrote: "If the "social commentary" tag ever comes up again, I think this sounds like it would be a great fit."

Yes, it would, actually!


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