Book Review: The Painter’s Girl By Helen Fripp


Paris, 1860s. For Mimi Bisset, survival is everything on the cobbled streets of the Paris slums. She tries to forget the pain of losing her daughter Colette: born out of wedlock and forcibly given away to a rich family. But Mimi’s world turns upside down after a chance encounter with handsome artist Édouard Manet. Boldly posing for portraits on Manet’s chaise longue, Mimi feels a wild freedom – and as Manet teaches her how to layer the vivid paints on canvas herself, a passion grows between them that breaks all the rules…

At Manet’s side, Mimi is caught up in his world. They dance all night at Paris’s new can-can clubs and drink absinthe at masked balls. But one day, strolling by the Seine on her lover’s arm, Mimi catches a glimpse of familiar green eyes… it’s Colette, with a family who Manet knew all along.

Although she’s reeling that the man she loved kept such a secret from her, Mimi is filled with hope she’ll finally get her daughter back. But when a terrible rumour begins to circulate about Mimi, the only place she has to go is back to the slums. Destitute, hungry and alone, can Mimi clear her name? Or will her heart shatter all over again when she loses her daughter for a second, final time?


This novel is set in Paris 1860. To read books based in foreign countries with intrigue are always of interest to me.

The main character Mimi grows up in the rough parts of Paris with dreams and aspirations of having more in life. We see shes interested in the Circus at the start of the novel and pictures drawing the things she sees. I am not sure what age she is at the beginning of the novel which would have been preferred to at least be aware of this as this young girl has a few jobs and shes thankful for the fact that her mother has not made her sell herself which we would see as a rare thing, or maybe not.

She works in a circus it appears. This should have been mentioned in the plot as this element of the novel dragged a lot for me as I was looking forward to reading about Paris not a frigging circus. There was too many characters and overall this novel did not keep my interest. Looks are deceiving it seems as the cover doesn’t seem as if this novel would be a drag for me. I really did want to love this novel based on the plot.

I received this novel in exchange for an honest review.

2/5 stars

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