The Savarays are at the center of bourgeois Parisian society, supporters of the Impressionist movement, friends of Édouard Manet, and relatively unaffected by the Franco-Prussian war raging beyond their estate-- until their beloved adopted son Henri, a burgeoning artist, disappears early one morning, and 18-year-old Aimée Savaray sets out 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 Manet, she unwittingly finds her way back to Henri. After so many years passed and secrets buried, their eventual reunion unmasks the lies that once held the family together, and now threatens to tear them apart...READ AN EXCERPT FROM GIRL IN THE AFTERNOON.
PRESS HIGHLIGHTS & REVIEWS
"Author Serena Burdick’s “Girl in The Afternoon” takes you to 1870’s Paris — right in the middle of a family drama set in the art world. The book features a female impressionist painter, whose life intertwines with that of painter Edward Manet." Listen to the full interview with NEPR's Carrie Healy
"GIRL IN THE AFTERNOON: MOST MAGNIFICENT BOOK OF 2016!" Momzinga
"Burdick's novel begins and ends with similar scenes separated by many years. How this occurs and merges with 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." 4-Star (HOT) RT Book Review
"Girl in the Afternoon was stunning. With its fantastic setting to the secrets and lies scattered through these characters’ lives, I was absolutely captivated and tore through this debut! This was one of those rare novels where, when I wasn’t reading it, I was counting down the minutes until I could get back to it. I swooned, I gasped, I was thoroughly enchanted." -THE PRETTY GOOD GATSBY
"Burdick brings the sights and sounds of the Paris of the Impressionists to life. Aimee is an admirable protagonist, a woman trying to become an artist at a time when the art world was dominated by men." -HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY
"Rather than aiming at big, splashy effects, Burdick quietly makes us feel the emotional impact of the events she describes, through subtle and evocative turns of phrase that make her writing a pleasure to read" -THE EMERALD CITY BOOK REVIEW
"Dripping with sensuality, dancing with tragedy, and ripe with secrets, Serena Burdick's debut, GIRL IN THE AFTERNOON, brings to life Belle Epoque Paris" -THE SECRET VICTORIANIST
"The plot was thick and complicated. Depressing and twisted, feminist and emotional, the dark secret at the heart of the story is the stuff that Lifetime television movies are made of." -ME READS A LOT.
"Paris + Belle Epoque era + wealthy family with secrets + art + scandal + reuniting with someone you loved but who had disappeared = YES PLEASE!" -THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH
"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.
"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." -Michelle 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.
"Intriguing! With a dreamlike quality, Ms. Burdick weaves a provocative tale of family secrets, betrayal, and the renewal of self-discovery." -Heather Webb, author of Rodin's Lover
"In Girl in the Afternoon, Serena Burdick weaves together Paris, la belle Époque, 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.