- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 5 hours
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: February 28, 2003
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00008R3BJ
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Girl in Hyacinth Blue Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
The story follows the path of a Vermeer painting from present time to when the picture was created several hundred years ago. Through the story, it passes through 7 owners. The painting is described as a beautiful young girl, who is looking out a window day dreaming. She has sewing materials as well. Each owner relates to the painting and has a philosophy of what the girl is thinking; and for some, it also reminds them of loves lost. Most of their stories were sad, but all felt a connection to the painting. Each chapter shares the story of a different owner as well as what was going on in their lives. The last 2 chapters is Vermeer painting the girl and his story and the girl's story 20 or so years later.
Vermeer only painted 30 or so paintings and most of the owners recognized its great value.
While the premise of the book (hearing the story of each of the 7 owners) is interesting, the beginning 2 chapters were so intriguing that I wished that the author would have continued further with this line rather than jumping to the next owner. The next 2 owners didn't feel connected to the rest of the story as the other 5 owners. For those middle owners I felt that there were details missing in how they came about owning the painting so it felt disjointed at times. The last 4 chapters the story felt connected. However, after 2 chapters of somewhat a disconnect, I felt the book lost much of its momentum.
While I thought the book was good, I would have rated it 4 or 5 stars if chapters 3-4 had more details so that the reader could more easily follow the path of the painting.
At the opening of the novel, Cornelius, a college professor has a secret. It’s a secret he’s never shared with anyone outside of his own family. Finally, he decides to trust a colleague and shows him into a special room inside his house where his treasure lies. His secret treasure is a painting so valuable and rare – it’s a Vermeer. How the painting came to be in Cornelius’s possession is the plot of the book, each chapter taking us back into time to walk alongside the Vermeer masterpiece and hear it’s story.
I was impressed with Vreeland’s superb research and storytelling talents. This was a wonderful book that is not only an excellent work of historical fiction, but also presents an intriguing mystery that makes for an enjoyable read.