"Like all good historical fiction, Dancing for Degas gives us a small sliver of reality during a different era, and its value is that it leaves the reader wanting to learn more about the subject." —The Boston Globe
"First-time novelist Wagner skillfully compresses the war into a series of brief letters in this engaging tale illuminating the dark side of French society high and low. With appearances by Degas' peers Cezanne and Monet, this fascinating visit to a bygone world of art and sex, war and love will draw many." —Booklist
"Wagner imagines how layers of meaning pervade works of art, but her real forte is detailing the sexual politics of poverty and evoking the rivalry among dancers, especially between stars and the newcomers who wish to replace them." —Publishers Weekly
In the city of lights, at the dawn of a new age, here is an unforgettable story of great love, great art—and the most painful choices of the heart.
Kathryn Wagner transports readers to an era of light and movement with this fresh and vibrantly imagined portrait of the Impressionist artist Edgar Degas as told through the eyes of a young Parisian ballerina. An ambitious and enterprising farm girl, Alexandrie enters the prestigious Paris Opera ballet with hopes of catching the eye of one of the ballet's wealthy patrons—thereby securing not only her place in society, but her family's financial future.
But her plan is soon derailed when she falls in love with the enigmatic artist whose paintings of the private off-stage lives of the ballerinas scandalized society and revolutionized the art world. As Alexandrie is drawn deeper into Degas's art and Paris's darkest secrets, she will risk everything for her dreams of love and of becoming the ballet's star dancer.