Home » Art Gifts » Historical Fiction » A Wonderful Historical Fiction book About Mary Cassatt

I Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira is a wonderful historical fiction book about the relationship between the French Impressionism artists Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas.

The book immerses you into the world of the French impressionists during the Belle Epoque Paris of the 19th Century.

Mary Cassatt, an American, female artist, leaves conservative America for the more liberal and creative Paris. It is in Paris where she lives most of her adult life.

She meets Degas in the 1870s and they become very close friends. Neither one marries. Little is known about their relationship and it is speculated that perhaps Degas and Cassatt were romantically involved. Who knows?!

For Robin Oliveira, the author of this fabulous novel, this uncertainty provides her with an opportunity to imagine their possible relationship.

Edgar Degas Portrait of the Impressionist Mary Cassatt
Degas drawing of Mary Cassatt [Public Doman]

Creatively, the author captures for you Mary Cassatt’s passion for the impressionism art movement, despite the fact that the art world scorned and ridiculed the impressionists. 

Robin Oliveira clearly portrays to you the frustration and disappointments that all the Impressionism artists endured by breaking all the artistic norms of their time.

In the book, you can read about Degas‘ use of the “petit rats” (the young ballerinas) as his models for many of his paintings and for the iconic sculpture “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen.” She portrays his struggle for absolute perfection.

Were Cassatt and Degas romantically involved? The author chooses to makes art and not their relationship the most dominant obsession of their lives.

I highly recommend! Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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For more wonderful art historical fiction books about Edgar Degas and the other Impressionism painters, check out my other recommendations below.

Please let me know if you have any recommendations of art historical fiction books related to the impressionists from the 19th century not on this list! I look forward to hearing from you.