Girl in the Afternoon
by Serena Burdick
St. Martin's Press
Hardcover, eBook; 288 pages
Born into a wealthy Parisian family at the center of Belle Epoque society, 18-year-old Aimée Savaray dreams of becoming a respected painter in the male-dominated art world; and secretly, she also dreams of being loved by Henri, the boy her parents took in as a child and raised alongside her.
But when Henri inexplicably disappears, in the midst of the Franco-Prussian war, the Savarays’ privileged lives begin to unravel. Heartbroken, Aimée tries to find him, but Henri doesn’t want to be found—and only one member of the family knows why.
As Aimée seeks refuge in the art world, mentored by the Impressionist Édouard Manet, she unwittingly finds her way back to Henri. With so many years gone by and secrets buried, their eventual reunion unmasks the lies that once held the family together, but now threaten to tear them apart.
A rich and opulent saga, Girl in the Afternoon brings the Impressionists to life in this portrait of scandal, fortune, and unrequited love.
“A young woman's quest for independence and recognition in a world dominated by men is at the heart of a tale brimming over with secrets, betrayals and redemption. Burdick keeps readers riveted, trying to unravel the maze of secrets that tear the characters' world apart. This is a melancholy, bittersweet novel that touches readers seeking emotional depth. Not for those who adore an HEA.” —RT Book Reviews (4 Stars HOT)
“Heart-rending, passionate, and riddled with secrets, Girl in the Afternoon explores a society's changing attitudes toward art, womanhood and freedom, as observed by a bourgeois family trying to protect their own. A compelling, melancholy tale.” —Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet
“In Girl in the Afternoon, Serena Burdick weaves together Paris, La Belle Epoque, art and abundant doses of family drama in a tightly-written story that pulls the reader in and keeps the twists and turns coming until almost the last page” —Sally Christie, author of The Sisters of Versailles
“Intriguing!...In GIRL IN THE AFTERNOON, young artist Aimée Savaray sets out on a quest to uncover the truth behind lost love, and to find her place in the male-dominated art world of Belle Époque Paris. With a dream-like quality, Ms. Burdick weaves a provocative tale of family secrets, betrayal, and the renewal of self-discovery.” —Heather Webb, author of Rodin's Lover
“This fabulous book is an embroidery of love stitched in the romantic painterly style of Realism. But, when you turn the embroidery over, you see the tangled chaos of betrayal in the style of the Impressionistic painters. Serena Burdick bridges the two artistic styles with the skill of a real artist.”
—Michele Zackheim, author of Last Train to Paris
“Out of the Gilded Age comes this glittering canvas of a novel, full of light and life, shadow and darkness, stillness and movement. A rich portrait of a world and one unconventional family’s place in it, Girl in the Afternoon is a love story, a mystery, a tragedy, and a moving study of the human capacity to contain both reckless error and surprising redemption.” —Carrie Brown, author of The Stargazer's Sister
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About the Author:
SERENA BURDICK grew up in a small town in Western Massachusetts. She studied at Sarah Lawrence College before moving to California, where she graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and later to New York, where she majored in English Literature at Brooklyn College. She has always been active in theater as well as writing with a passion for the visual arts and Paris. She has returned to Western Massachusetts, where she now lives with her husband and two sons. Girl in the Afternoon is Serena's first novel. http://www.serenaburdick.com/