|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
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.
I really think that when people read this book, they can immediately picture the whole story.
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.
I very much enjoyed this "explanation" of who the girl in the painting was & what her life was like.Published 20 hours ago by Jaronn Drassal
I can't remember how it was narrated. This novel was recommended by a friend and I enjoyed it, but not as much as I had hoped. It was a bit dry and stilted at times.Published 8 days ago by Dr. Kristi S. Fowler
With a little patience, the author creates a beautiful love story. A father's love for his daughter, a master's love for his maid and a butcher's love of his wife beautifully... Read morePublished 11 days ago by JenRMRCRR2
Tracy Chevalier does an outstanding job of combining the history and fiction.Published 12 days ago by Margaret J. Belknap
Great story if you like history. You see Vermeer's Delft through the eyes of his taciturn housemaid and muse.Published 15 days ago by Bronxite58