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Mademoiselle Victorine

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    a reviewer

    Mademoiselle Victorine Debra Finerman Three Rivers (Crown), Jul 2007, $13.95 ISBN: 9780307352835 In 1858, her two aunts who fed her dumped their fourteen year old niece Victorine Laurent leaving her to fend for herself. She vowed to make it, not realizing how difficult that will prove for a penniless waif with no family as only one avenue exists in Paris for those who are nothing. Four years later Victorine joins the chorus of the Paris Opera with her intention to become the mistress of a wealthy man for that is the sole escape from the street. Degas introduces Victorine to Edouard Manet, who paints her portrait to the shock of Parisians. Duke de Lyon, Emperor Louis-Napoleon¿s prime advisor, asks Victorine to be his exclusive mistress, but that means giving up totally on Manet even as her past surfaces in such a way that she might soon be back on the streets. --- This is an interesting historical fiction that brings to life the conjoining of art, business, and government at a critical point in both fields as Napoleon III tries to widen his influence and the Impressionists are becoming the prime school. The use of real events and genuine characters help anchor the sense of being in Paris in the late 1860s. However, Victorine adapts too easily to any circumstance she comes across by changing her wardrobe still readers will enjoy her dalliances to be all that she is allowed to be. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2007

    I loved this fun, fast read!

    I read a galley copy of this book that my roommate brought home from work. She works for a magazine. I usually read historical fiction and this one grabbed me initially because of the cover. I could totally be Victorine! She lived in the 1860's, but she's just like me in her love life and ambitions for her career. And hey, Mr. reviewer dude, you don't get it. Wardrobe is Destiny for us girls.

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