Isabella's story was more interesting than Ella's. It seemed the book was unfinished, and there was no real growth or resolution at the end. Horrible things happened, but how did the women really change?
This book is so very similar to the Labrynth that I read just a bit ago. I swear they were even in the same towns just 500 yrs apart! It makes me wonder if the other author read this book! I was so engrosed in this book I couldnt put it down, but the ending was crappy! I would have liked more closure. warning of domestic violence
A story of Ella, a lonely American woman in southwestern France, who connects through her dreams with a distant ancestor, Isabelle. Reading this novel is like being on a "scavenger hunt," as you "hunt" for the common thread that joins these women together in a most mysterious way!
This a mystery/ historical fiction. It is about a woman, Ella, who moves to France near where her family lived four hundred years earlier. Ella, starts to have werid dreams and the only way end these dreams is for her to research into her family history. The story is told from both Ella and her 14th century ancestor, Isabelle's point of view.
This book was a heartbreaking and angry read for me... I could hear myself shouting at the ancestors in this book. It is certainly written by the same author as "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "The Lady and the Unicorn" but is differnet. Darker to me.
Extremely well written and read. Some sentences spoken in French, which I didn't understand - but this in no way subtracted from enjoyment. Wish I had had the hard copy available so I could have looked up translation. Makes me want to hear more of her books - and in fact I have already ordered one. Certainly makes my journey to and from work easy to take. Will try to find an audio cassette of her Girl with Pearl Earring - if as well written as this know I shall enjoy it.
I was reading along in this time travel novel and realized I was confused as to the characters in the 1570's part. So I went back to the beginning and reread the first 189 pages, before finishing the book. I am very glad I did! The second run-through made much more sense, as I wrote down the family tree for the characters and I understood who was related to whom, and why. The delving in to the Catholic persecution of Protestants in the hundred or so years prior to the Massacre of St Bartholomew (1685) was very interesting, as well as the modern difficulties of a non-French person trying to fit in in a small French village near Toulouse.
I was intrigued by this story of an American woman, Ella, transplanted to France with her ambitious husband who has taken an international job. The story parallels another woman, Isabelle, from four centuries past and soon both stories intertwine beautifully. I enjoyed this novel well more than I expected to, and I do like Chevalier's style of writing. Amazing that this was her first novel, very rich writing indeed. I would definitely read more of her works, in fact, I just obtained "Falling Angels", which I plan to read soon.
I really enjoyed this book by the author of 'Girl with a Pearl Earring.' The story is an intertwining of the lives of Isabella and Ella...two women born centuries apart yet part of the same family. The reader learns more about both of the women as Ella learns more about her family history. The chapters switch from past to present in an interesting way.
This was a good read if you like the combination of historical fiction and detective story. Ella finds her life changing after moving to France & delving into her French ancestry and feels compelled to solve what happened to her ancestor Isabelle and her daughter Marie in the 1500s.
A very quick read. Hard to follow but one could read every other chapter and stay in the presnt time and then read the opposing chapters(past) in order. It would be much easier to follow. The end it a little choppy with the constant switch from past to present. But all in all, I enjoyed this novel very much.
Even if you do not listen to books, this one should be the exception! Wonderfully read by 2 actresses with beautiful French accents. This story will have you entralled. Chevalier is such a talented writer and weaves a story of two women connected over 400 years. The action moves from present to past flawlessly.
Excellent condition paperback. Author of the NYT bestseller "Girl With A Pearl Earring." Two woment born centuries apart, yet tied together by a haunting family legacy. Takes place in France and alternates between the two women.
This book wasn't what I was expecting after reading,"Girl with a Pearl Earring," which I thought was Wonderful. The writing and characterizations were well done and the time sequences seemed accurate. I had some difficulty at the end. The result was that while I liked it and enjoyed it while reading it, I felt a little lost at times. In Girl with a Pearl the heroine and others reacted to her circumstances very much as I would expect, giving it a feeling of comfort. In "The Virgin Blue" both Ella Turner, the modern protagonist and Isabelle du Moulin, Ella's predecessor by 100 yrs. reacted in ways I thought unlikely. I will be cuious to see how they both( Girl with a Pearl and Virgin Blue) compare with "Falling Angels".
Ella, a contemporary American, struggles to assimilate in the small medieval village where she and her husband have settled. Her genealogy research leads her on a fateful trail to Switzerland. The intertwining story (400 yrs earlier)tells Isabelle's tragic part in her family's migration during the Protestant reformation...a time of Calvinist sects trying to break away from the Papacy. Superstition, gossip and tragedy follow both woman. I love historical fiction so wish Chevalier had told more and not left me with so many questions. As with the "Girl with a Pearl Earring", I felt she just skimmed over the surface with an "outline" for what could have been a great novel.
My introduction to Tracy Chevalier was with "Girl with a Pearl Earring" which I devoured just as quickly and loved. "The Virgin Blue" is a different tale - quite sorrowful, but still I enjoyed it. Chevalier has a knack of making you feel like you're there - or maybe it's just that I have a love affair with France and history that makes me feel that way. I found myself wanting to know more of what happened to Ella - but I guess like some other stories, we'll have to come up with a sequel ourselves.
To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to reading this novel. I'd noticed Tracy Chevalier's popularity though, bought the book, and stuck it near the bottom of my TBR pile, thinking that I'd read it when I had nothing else that looked promising. I love a pleasant surprise, and this book was just that. While I wouldn't call it great, I still enjoyed it very much. I figured out how the story was going to end a long time before I actually got there, but it didn't matter...I still found the book to be a definite page-turner. I'm now looking forward to reading more of Chevalier's work.
One of the better books i have read. I was living it Italy a few years ago and wanted a book in english to read and picked this up. It became a passion, i couldn't put it down it pulled you in so much! GREAT READ!!
After reading Girl With a Pearl Earring (and loving it) I picked up this one by Chevalier, hoping to enjoy it as much. Sad to say I did not. I found it OK, but not of the same caliber as Girl With a Pearl Earring.
Parallel stories, one ancient, one modern, about marital relationships, love, or lack thereof, and infidelity. The 16th century tale, about a woman caught up in the Huguenot persecutions, is the stronger of the 2.
The reader will definately learn more about French culture in this book. For examlple, French women only buy washing machines if they are beginning their family, otherwise it is considered lazy and unnecessary. How interesting and different from American culture! Bring on the modern appliances! There is some French language in the book, which is fun if you know the language, I was able to get in some practice and learn new words!
A little disappointed with this book. Ella Turner travels to France with her husband, but becomes bored with daily life so she decides to investigate her French ancestry. The "common thread" which supposedly binds her to a relative 400 years earlier, I found weak. I enjoyed the book, but not at all as much as Girl With a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels.