This is Alison’s first audio title and will no doubt add greatly to her already formidable reputation as both children’s author and as a playwright for Radio 4. Its publication coincides with the new exhibition now showing at the Royal Academy in London – Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement. The young dancers made immortal by the great artist were often just a step away from prostitution – a central feature of this strongly written, powerful, literary novel.
At the beginning of a long journey in time and fortune we meet Juliette who as a young woman was a beautiful and wayward prostitute. She became an artist’s model for Edgar Degas and became his famous Femme Assise, a much admired sculpture that was later cast in bronze by master bronze caster, Didier. Now she is an old, raddled and homeless woman. She can’t believe her eyes when she comes face to face with her young and beautiful self – bronze, shining and standing in the front window of Didier’s house. Her life and the lives of everyone in Didier’s household are about to change as she finds new life and a new meaning to her existence as her friendship with a little deaf boy grows, transforming and transcending all that has gone before.
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- C. Evans