Belle Epoque, set in late 1800's Paris, is a debut young adult novel by Elizabeth Ross that was inspired by Emile Zola's short story Les Repoussoir. Maude Pinchon, fleeing an arranged marriage, escapes to Paris only to find life there comes with its own hardships and heartaches. In order to survive, she takes a job as a repoussoir, a young woman hired for her ugliness and used to highlight the beauty of her client. Maude's first client is Isabel, a headstrong young woman, who is unaware that Maude has been hired by her mother. As Maude's friendship with Isabel grows, Maude is forced to choose between her growing friendship with Isabel and her own survival.
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