I absolutely loved this book. I got the audio cassette for a friend who is blind. It is so full of imagery of Dutch life in the 1600's.
Audio book 8 hours unabridged version. This book is very good I had never been interested in the movie until I listened to the book.
Fascinating depiction of period life. Rich in detail. The movie was good, too, but glad I read the book first.
Loved it! Read "Year of Wonder" by Geraldine Brooks right after finishing "Girl" and both took me back to 1666.
Tracy Chevaliers novel, The Girl With a Pearl Earring, was a captivating story, a blend of history and fiction, inspired by a famous painting. Set in the 1600s 16 year old Griet is sent to work for a successful painter of the time, Vermeer. During the course of her apprenticeship, her master takes a romantic interest in her as she does him. Chevalier creates an amazing plot for the picture and creates a story that captures the reader although she never fully develops her characters feelings which detracts from the romanticism of the story.
The story that the author creates using this beautiful picture is one that shows an incredible amount of creativity. Chevalier imagines a story behind the painting that is sometimes referred to as the Dutch Mona Lisa. Even though no one knows who the girl in the painting is Chevalier is able to envision a romance about her. She invents a love story that crosses class lines as well as religious lines in a rigid society. The author portrays beautiful imagery for the reader. She describes the paintings making the reader feel as if they are right before them. Griet describes a woman in one of the paintings: She wore a mantle of rich yellow satin trimmed with white ermine, and a fashionable five point ribbon in her hair. The reader can imagine this womans elegant clothing with ease and can easily become mesmerized by by the descriptiveness of the novel.
Although the characters in the novel are interesting and cleverly drawn they lack depth of feeling and their motivations remain hidden from the reader. While it is easy to understand a few of the characters the two main ones, Griet and Vermeer, are never fully exposed. The reader is never told in any depth what Griet feels and thinks and Vermeer remains a mystery. At the end of the novel immediately after Vermeer finishes the painting of Griet Chevalier decides to end the story. Griet runs out of the house when Vermeers wife Catharina, sees the painting. There is no explanation of how Griet changes from this experience or what she truly feels. That left this reader with many unanswered questions.
The Girl with a Pearl Earring was an interesting blend of history and fiction. Chevalier is successful with her imagery and with the plot of the story. However she could have improved the novel by adding the exquisite detail that she used in the plot and imagery, applying it to the characters. The novel, even with those negative points was quite successful for this reader. I simply wanted more.
Enjoyed the book as much as I enjoyed the movie.
This is a great book and I read it in two days. The book does lead you to believe that their is much passion written in the book but I didn't find this to be true. The book is not very erotic as well but the writer definitely makes you feel for Griet. I just kept reading because I sympathized for her plight and wanted to see how everything would play out. It was interesting to me that the book revolved around Griet's beauty and sexual awakening and yet the author never mentioned any description of her beauty. All in all, it is a classic and a great read.
Interesting read which tells the story of Griet, a Dutch girl who is sent to live as a servant for the painter Vermeer to earn money for her family after her father is blinded and can no longer work. The Vermeer household features several children, Catharina-the cold mistress of the household, and another servant. Tensions arise when one of the girls takes a dislike to Griet and constantly tries to get her in trouble. She also creates tension when Vermeer recognizes her abilities and tasks her to assist him which creates jealousy among the household and also when she catches the eye of a wealthy customer and must resist his advances. Eventually the only way to appease him is for Griet to sit for a portrait (The Girl with the Pearl Earring).
I like that the focus of the book stayed on Griet and that kept the story simple and enjoyable. There are so many different points of focus the book could have had but I think Chevalier was smart to keep the focus on the protagonist, Griet. In doing this I got a good impression of what it was like to live in Delft and the differences between the classes and how people were expected to act. Its not easy to picture in your mind how characters should be in a time you know nothing about but I felt liked the way the writing and descriptions allowed you to see it without it being too much. I also didnt mind the background story of the butchers son vying for Griets attention throughout the book. Good description, likeable main character and it made me interested enough to look up some of Vermeers work on Wikipedia so I could see for myself the paintings that were discussed in the book.
Interesting read. Well written.
Very sweet story that took me by surprise in a few places. The author did a great job of creating a credible voice for the girl, and keeping it consistent throughout the story. The reflection of Vermeer's life was very much on-track with what is known about the artist, and while this, of course, was fiction it would be easy to believe that this was in fact a true story. As a reader, i really liked this girl. A really lovely read.
I read this book on an airplane coming home from California with my husband. Since it was a book that I bought at the airport I did not expect much from it but I was happily surprised. I loved the drama and the mystery of this book. It was a really good story, much better than other books I have purchased in a rush at the airport.
Girl with a Peal Earring is a wonderful fiction about one of Vermeer's Paintings. It really makes you think about the era in which the painting was created. Vermeer was somewhat of a escentric as are most artist. The book also became a movie in which was very close to the book. The ending in the movie was just a little different. I would recommend for anyone who loves historical fiction.
Very enjoyable and a surprisingly quick read. Chevalier does an excellent job of expressing the feelings of the main character, so that you are right there with her.
Delicate and perceptive, a master of telling details.The reader is drawn into a world of paintings.
Loved the book! It was a quick read and I found myself reminiscing about my travels to Delft and Rotterdam.