When 18-year-old Mimi Bisset discovers a lost giraffe and rides it bareback to the circus, the denizens of Montmartre cannot get enough of her. For who else but Mimi would be bold enough to tame a wild beast so that it would actually allow her to ride it?
Mimi seems like a carefree girl on the verge of womanhood, but her life has been very difficult. Born into the slums of Montmartre in 1840s Paris, she has no idea who her father is and lost her mother a few years back.
But what really eats at Mimi is her little girl, born when she was just 16, and given up to a wealthy family so that she can enjoy the comfortable life that Mimi is not able to give her.
Mimi works in the laundry, along with other struggling girls. She loves her community ~ the dark humor, the bawdy jests and the love that these people bring her. But saving the giraffe changes her life forever. The Circus Master ~ impressed by her boldness ~ asks her to join the circus and she becomes a celebrated trapeze artist.
And that is how she meets The Impressionists ~ a group of artists in 1860s Paris who want to move on from the Neoclassical portraits so beloved by The Academy, to explore light and movement. After Mimi has a serious accident, they take her under their wing and she becomes first muse and then mistress to the brilliant Edouard Manet.
Mimi is desperately in love with Manet but he comes from a good family and is married. What is he going to think about her illegitimate daughter?
If you love gripping page-turning novels about stubborn women who don’t behave themselves, then this is a treat for you! Five Stars.