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Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant--and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model. Chevalier vividly evokes the complex domestic tensions of the household, ruled over by the painter's jealous, eternally pregnant wife and his taciturn mother-in-law. At times the relationship between servant and master seems a little anachronistic. Still, Girl with a Pearl Earring does contain a final delicious twist.
Throughout, Chevalier cultivates a limpid, painstakingly observed style, whose exactitude is an effective homage to the painter himself. Even Griet's most humdrum duties take on a high if unobtrusive gloss:
I came to love grinding the things he brought from the apothecary--bones, white lead, madder, massicot--to see how bright and pure I could get the colors. I learned that the finer the materials were ground, the deeper the color. From rough, dull grains madder became a fine bright red powder and, mixed with linseed oil, a sparkling paint. Making it and the other colors was magical.In assembling such quotidian particulars, the author acknowledges her debt to Simon Schama's classic study The Embarrassment of Riches. Her novel also joins a crop of recent, painterly fictions, including Deborah Moggach's Tulip Fever and Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue. Can novelists extract much more from the Dutch golden age? The question is an open one--but in the meantime, Girl with a Pearl Earring remains a fascinating piece of speculative historical fiction, and an appealingly new take on an old master. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The characters are interesting and the story flows well to an ending that is to be expected.
Chevalier has done for this painting what well researched historical fiction does for history: taken a beautiful painting from a museum and brought it to life.
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier is an amazing book that brings the story behind the Vermeer painting to life.
This story gave a representation of life in the 1600s from the perspective of a maid in the home of a renown painter. Enjoyable from beginning to end.Published 3 days ago by Anita Mercado
Great book! And I loved reading about Vermeer and the story behind the painting.Published 4 days ago by tcwbnak
Second time that I read this book.
Still captivating held my attention every minute .
Recommend to anyone.
It is a wonderful story about life in the 1600s...how a painting was (is) created... how paint was made...how small town life is still pretty much the same as it is today.Published 12 days ago by Cecelia Moore
This is a great little book that is fun to read. It arrived in great condition and within the promised time frame.Published 14 days ago by Jhonnye
Enjoyable read. The historical background was interesting.Published 20 days ago by Stanley D. Moses
I'd give this book zero stars if I could. Such a snooze fest. The characters weren't dynamic, the writing was dull the dialogue blah. And then seriously no plot, or conflict. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Sarah McKenna