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Belle epoque by Elizabeth Ross

Belle epoque

by Elizabeth Ross

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1831064,645 (3.64)2



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Which was a likable book. The story was interesting. The historical setting was interesting and well researched. The lead characters Maude and Isabelle are likable, strong headed young women. I don't know why I didn't fall in love with the story. It felt kinda flat, it only had one real antagonistic character, Isabelle's mother, and we didn't really get to know her. The owner of the agency that rents plain women as accessories is also not really develop and paper thin. I think it's because there wasn't any real tension in the storyline that I didn't love it. For the historical settings, the brilliant idea to write a story about The Repoussoirs short story by Zola, because both Maude and Isabelle are worth knowing.... ( )
  writerlibrarian | Jun 28, 2015 |
Society does a number on people. In every era, though fashions change from culture to historical period, certain people are considered attractive and others ugly. For those with beautiful faces, be they rubenesque, sharply skinny, dimpled, butt-chinned, freckled, pale as snow, or dark as obsidian, life always is just that little bit easier. Odds of marrying into wealth or more wealth, of finding people to admire you, of obtaining a position go up because of that face.

In young adult fiction, the current standards of beauty are generally held up and shown to be the ideal. The heroes and heroines are perfection: wealthy, if at all possible, but in almost all cases beautiful by the standards of that time. The average YA character is often described as looking like a model. In such a world, the average cease to stand out and a plain face like Maude Pichon’s can come to the forefront. In a sea of perfectly symmetrical face, the strange and unique are immediately more compelling.

Read the full review at A Reader of Fictions. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | May 9, 2014 |
Five- Stars- This was a unique story that held my interest until the very end. I would recommend to adults and teens- This is a fantastic book to recommend- (Clean Read) I have passed this book on to my oldest daughter- She is loving it so far- I can't wait to read more from this author- Read in two days, hard to put down. Worth the time and money- I won a free copy in a giveaway and I'm so happy to have read this book. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end~ I HOPE THIS AUTHOR WRITES MORE (HOPEFULLY TO GO ALONG WITH THIS BOOK) I WILL PURCHASE BOOK TWO IN AN INSTANT ;) http://reesasbookblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/review-belle-epoque-by-elizabeth-ross... ( )
  Reesa111 | Mar 7, 2014 |
Maude Pichon ran away from her village to avoid a marriage. She robbed her father's store's till and ran off to Paris, city of lights and romance, where the Eiffel Tower is rising taller every day. However, survival in a large city is much less romantic than Maude's daydreams, and she is becoming desperate to survive. In order to support herself, she answers an unusual ad for the Durandeau Agency, where ugly women are hired to set off more attractive ladies of substance. Maude is hired to be the foil to Isabelle, a young lady making her debut, only Isabelle doesn't know Maude was hired by her mother. Maude is trapped between her own survival at the agency and her budding friendship with Isabelle, and she doesn't even know which world she lives in, the poor or the rich . . . ( )
  TheMadHatters | Mar 3, 2014 |
Maude Pichon finds a place among the women of the Duprandeau Agency because she is not pretty. The agency has found it's niche in the Paris business world by selling the services of ugly women to act as foils for the beautiful, making them more beautiful by comparison to their companion. Maude is hired to be the companion of a lovely debutante who is not told the truth about Maude's role. This book takes us into the excess of the Paris drawing rooms and creative turmoil of the Paris cafes, sharing Champagne and Absinthe with a variety of characters. ( )
  SparklePonies | Feb 22, 2014 |
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There are two ways of spreading the light:
to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
- Edith Wharton
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"Perfect, just perfect," says the stout man.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385741464, Hardcover)

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive.

Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect adornment of plainness. 

But Isabelle has no idea her new "friend" is the hired help, and Maude's very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.  

Inspired by a short story written by Emile Zola, Belle Epoque is set at the height of bohemian Paris, when the city was at the peak of decadence, men and women were at their most beautiful, and morality was at its most depraved.  

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:41 -0400)

Sixteen-year-old Maude Pichon, a plain, impoverished girl in Belle Epoque Paris, is hired by Countess Dubern to make her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, look more beautiful by comparison but soon Maude is enmeshed in a tangle of love, friendship, and deception.… (more)

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