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Girl in Hyacinth Blue
Girl in Hyacinth Blue
Author: Susan Vreeland
This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer--but why has he hidden this important work for so long? The reasons unfold in a series of events that trace the ownership of the painting back to World War II ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780140296280
ISBN-10: 014029628X
Publication Date: 10/3/2000
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 325 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Girl in Hyacinth Blue on + 412 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Historical fiction, actually a book of short stories that follow a painting from modern times back to the painter and the subject of the painting. It's many different stories and varied lives woven into one tale. I like stories like this that follow an object through history, and Vreeland did this one very well, able to narrate a story from the perspective of a wide variety of characters, from a modern-day math professor in the USA to a French Lady in the time of Louis XIV, to a Dutch farm wife. I enjoyed it very much and will be looking for more from this author
reviewed Girl in Hyacinth Blue on + 56 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is not a long read, and the reverse chronology vignettes about the fictitious painting by Vermeer, "Girl in Hyacinth Blue" were very engrossing and at times surprising. I loved Vreeland's lush descriptions of Netherlands landscapes and scenery - you almost felt as if you were right there! This book wasn't just narratives of nature's beauty -- Vreeland also described poverty and the finality of life very well, too. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and some of the imagery Vreeland created will stay with me.
reviewed Girl in Hyacinth Blue on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I just finished this book last night and I am not quite sure how I feel about it. The story was definately interesting how the painting touched so many peoples lives in such different ways. The book was somewhat depressing in a way though. There was a somber overcast in each of the short stories that seemed like a big dark cloud sitting over me as I read.
reviewed Girl in Hyacinth Blue on + 137 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Amazing prose. The author tells the story in vignettes, but they all flow together as one novel, one story. The richness of the words is fathomless. The characterization is excellently conveyed by lack of description, an astonishing success there. This book is for any serious reader of excellent literature.
reviewed Girl in Hyacinth Blue on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
We follow a painting by Vermeer as it travels from person to person over the years. It is a great story about art and human life.
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reviewed Girl in Hyacinth Blue on + 23 more book reviews
Intriguing story told in a unique way. A series of stories, each a 'chapter' which tells the journey of a mysterious painting. I couldn't put it down.
reviewed Girl in Hyacinth Blue on + 92 more book reviews
Loved the movement of this painting and the stories behind those who came in contact with it.
reviewed Girl in Hyacinth Blue on + 450 more book reviews
I think I will reread this book at some point because I found myself distracted by outside influences at times and feel I've missed some of the more subtle points. Good read - traces a painting's history/owners from most current to origin - and the impact this piece of artwork had on those individuals.