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When Edgar Degas visits his French Creole relatives in New Orleans from 1872 to '73, Estelle, his cousin and sister-in-law, encourages the artist--who has not yet achieved recognition and struggles to find inspiration--to paint portraits of their family members. In 1970, Anne Gautier, a young artist, finds connections between her ancestors and Degas while renovating the New Orleans house she has inherited. When Anne finds two identical portraits of Estelle, she discovers disturbing truths that change her life as she searches for meaningful artistic expression--just as Degas did one hundred years earlier. A gripping historical novel told by two women living a century apart, Estelle combines mystery, family saga, art, and romance in its exploration of the man Degas was before he became the artist famous around the world today.