The Virgin Blue
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The Virgin Blue

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  18,516 ratings  ·  1,192 reviews

Perfect for fans of Barbara Erskine, Kate Morton and Sarah Waters, this is historical fiction at its very best.

The compelling story of two women, born four centuries apart, and the ancestral legacy that binds them.

Ella Turner does her best to fit in to the small, close-knit community of Lisle-sur-Tarn. She even changes her name back to Tournier, and knocks the rust off her

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Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published (first published 1997)
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Tea Jovanović
Meni lično je ovo najdraža Trejsina knjiga... Inače nisam naročiti ljubitelj njenih romana...
Antof9
So this book started off strong -- very strong. The story of the 1500 Isabelle was very interesting, although could have been developed a little more, I think. I actually had a hard time putting the book down in the first three quarters or more. However, by the end, I was pretty much tired of it. Tired, because it was so odd and unbelievable, and I'd really stopped caring for Ella, the modern-day main character.

I loved the idea of what was happening -- the same land, same family, a modern day ve...more
Xeyra
Apparently, this was Tracy Chevalier's first novel, quite different from most of her other ones. I have read two other novels by this author, "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "The Lady and the Unicorn", and have enjoyed both very much. This author has a style that appeals to me, simple and straightfoward but with a beauty of its own in the way she captures the characters that compose her stories.

Although I liked "The Virgin Blue", reading it in two days, I ended up fairly confused as to what had...more
Suzette
Definitely not as good as Girl with a Pearl Earring. I was really enjoying the first two-thirds of the book, but I didn't like the direction it took after that. There are two parallel stories happening and the modern one is less believable than the one that takes places four hundred years ago. I liked the character Isabelle from the 1500's much better than Ella from modern day. I'll still read more by Chevalier. She has a nice style of writing that totally sucks me in.
Anne
Jan 20, 2008 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in historical stories centering around women
Recommended to Anne by: My mother
Shelves: heart-wrenching
I picked it up and a day and a half later, I set it down. At first, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but 20 pages in and I was completely hooked.

Since I haven't read anything else by Tracy Chevallier, I wasn't sure I would enjoy her writing. I was happy to discover she has a natural knack for character development, I found her to be a very honest author, unafraid to describe what "we" are really feeling inside. Exposing the vulnerability of human nature with her intertwining storie...more
Liz Wright
Having never read Chevalier’s work I was very pleased with this novel, which is her first. The interesting thing to me was that the story took place at two different times in history but in the same geographic area. The first chapter introduces us to Isabelle, a girl who lives in France in the 1600s during a religious upheaval. Isabelle is seen as odd by her town because of her red hair, which was uncommon at the time. In chapter two we meet Ella, an American who has moved to France with her hus...more
Michelle Smith
I was incredibly disappointed in this book. I had read Girl With a Pearl Earring and been very impressed, so I picked up this one expecting something as good. Well, maybe not AS good, since The Virgin Blue was her first book and I was prepared to give her some wriggle room for growth and learning and so on.

Let me say that I think the book's premise is very strong, and I really loved the 'flashbacks' to Isabella. In my opinion, these segments were strong and interesting and well-written.

Where the...more
Cami
This was a very interesting book about two women, centuries apart, linked through blood and circumstances.
Ella Turner moves to France with her husband Rick for his job. She has nothing to do with her days (she was a midwife in the U.S., but cannot yet practice in France) and begins researching her family history.
In nearly every other chapter we read of Isabella, who lived 400 years earlier. She is beginning her adult life with a marriage and child on the way. Forced to give up her beliefs in t...more
Alicia
Surprisingly, this was somewhat a book about a mystery, but it did get me thinking quite a bit, particularly about memories and how they are stored in the brain. Because one of the two main characters "develops" memories from her distant relative (distant being 400ish years ago), I started to wonder about memories and if we will ever figure out a way to "harvest" and save memories to be viewed when "host" is no longer with us. It seems crazy, but maybe at one time, it seemed crazy to think we co...more
Lauren
This kinda of has a stereotypical romance novel feel to it- married women meets French man, and they have an affair and that sort of thing. But there is another story besides this one that is really interesting, about her ancestor during medieval times. It follows her as she gets married and raises a family, and the issues she must deal with in her community and home during a time where social rules were changing under religious turmoil. I enjoyed it.
Melanie
I really enjoyed the split narrative (two female narrators, one in the 16th century, the other in the present day), but I wanted more closure than the ending ultimately provided. I'm tired of concluding in a state of liminal possibility.
Helvry Sinaga
Inilah buku kedua Tracy yang saya baca setelah The Lady and The Unicorn. Sepertinya Tracy menggunakan wanita sebagai tokoh sentral dalam karya-karyanya. Membaca buku ini, kita dibawa kembali ke alam-alam pedesaan dan pertanian Prancis pada awal abad 16. Sepertinya tidak seru bila tidak didahului dengan konteks historis.

Latar Belakang
Sebuah gerakan yang awalnya mengkritisi kebijakan gereja (katolik Roma). Seorang bernama Martin Luther memulai gerakan itu di Jerman pada tahun 1517. Pokok-pokok yan...more
Stacy
Tracy Chevalier is a very frustrating author for me. I liked the first one I read (The Lady and the Unicorn), I adored the second one I read (Falling Angels) and was disappointed with the third (The Girl in the Pearl Earrings). This is the 4th, and once again, disappointed. The thing that disappoints me most is that the subject material is so rich, I can see how the book could be so good. I know nothing about the Huguenots in France and would love to read more. I love history, I love genealogy a...more
Angela Gaskell
I really liked this novel. The overlapping stories are fascinating, exciting, and propel a sense of reality that sometimes other fiction can not accomplish. I believe that Tracy Chevalier is a talented writer (story teller) because of her characters, subjects, and environments, in which she places those characters. After watching a short video with her being interviewed about her newest book, "Remarkable Creatures," I realize how her creative mind works and what inspires her. She is very attenti...more
Haydee
Okay, maybe 1.5 stars is more fair. Anyway, this book annoyed the heck out of me! This is my third Chevalier novel(also read "Girl w/ a Pearl Earring" and "The Lady and the Unicorn) and enjoyed the first two--this is her first novel and I think it shows.
There are 2 main characters in this book--both women, but living centuries apart. Ella, the present-day character, is an American ex-pat living in France with her husband, and Isabelle is her distant ancestor living in France during the time of...more
Lydia Presley
Several things were covered in this historical/modern day novel. Part of the story was of Isabelle, a 15th century woman who was "cursed" with having red hair - the same color of hair as the Virgin Mary was portrayed as having. The time period was about the time when the Huguenots were being chased out of France into Sweden. The other part of the story is about Ella, a modern day woman who is researching the mystery behind her family ancestry after a move to France.

In essence, this is partly a h...more
Sun
"The Virgin Blue" is two stories in one. Or possibly two sides of the same story.

In one story, set in modern day, American Ella Turner is a midwife studying for re-licensing after relocating with her husband to France. She investigates her ancestral roots for something to do and becomes intrigued in both her family history and the local librarian, Jean-Paul.

The other story is that of Isabelle du Moulin, a French Protestant woman who marries into the Tournier family and who escapes persecution...more
Laura
I borrowed this from my housemate because I had thoroughly enjoyed "Girl With the Pearl Earring" years ago. The Virgin Blue is so different from 'Girl' and yet still a great read. I was fascinated with the redhead history (being one myself) and had never heard of Mary as a redhead before! The whole redhead as witch thing is pretty common and always makes me kind of smile...although I guess I hadn't realized it had pushed so far south (it is an old but common belief in northern and eastern Europe...more
Diane
I like Tracy Chevalier's writing. Her books, Girl with a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels were terrific. This book was good and I did finish it, but it fell short compared to her others.

I enjoyed the story of Isabelle du Moulin more so than Ella Turner's story. Isabelle is a tragic heroine and I wanted to learn more about her and her situation. Ella's story, while less tragic certainly, entertained me but did not grasp me. I felt distant from her somehow. I think she created her own problems an...more
Karen
I respect Chevalier's concept for her books -- taking a famous painting and imagining an entire story around it. Now, after a while, I think this concept might get a bit formulaic and redundant. In this book, I can see that she is actively trying to avoid just such a situation. Rather than imagining how the portrait came to be, as in "Girl with a Pearl Earring", Chevalier instead concentrates solely on the girl in the portrait and tries to imagine her life. The pacing of the book was a bit faste...more
Amy
This book, which I believe Tracy Chevalier wrote before Girl With a Pearl Earring, reminded me an awful lot of The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. It uses the same concept of alternating a historical plot with present day events, and both modern heroines are facing similar issues.

The modern story follows Ella, a woman with French ancestry who moves to France because of her husband's work. They decide to live in a small French town and Ella gets involved with a local librarian while researching...more
Santh memories
Ella Tournier mengikuti suaminya pindah dari Amerika ke Perancis, dan menemukan rumah di sebuah kota kecil dekat Toulouse. sejak itu, Ella yang sebenarnya mempunyai leluhur berasal dari Perancis, bermimpi tentang warna biru yang benar-benar "biru" - suatu gabungan antara kesedihan dan ketenangan - dan juga suara-suara aneh dalam bahasa asing serta suara batu berdebam. karena merasa "asing" di kota tersebut (alias belum biasa diterima oleh orang-orang di sana), plus tidak punya kesibukan, akhirny...more
Chana
I really loved this book in a lot of ways, but the sense of inevitability, that feeling of descending tragedy that cannot be averted, was so strong and, of course, correct. We were looking at events that had already occurred and those could not be changed. But when we were experiencing them in a present tense I really wished that Isabelle could have found a way out of the life and tragedies that were here destiny, especially for Marie. I was just sick about it. Also found myself in favor of Jean...more
Sara
I thoroughly enjoyed The Virgin Blue. It's not as good as Girl with a Pearl Earring, but still good enough to recommend. The story alternates between the 16th and 20th centuries and the lives of two women who are distantly related. I thought the story of Isabelle living in the 16th century was actually more believable than Ella in the 20th. As always, stories that showcase devotion to the Virgin intrigue me.
Sarah
I enjoyed this book for its peek into the world of archives and geneological research, which is an unusal thing to find in fiction, even historical fiction. Having worked in archives and recently beginning my own family research, I enjoyed relating to Ella's quest to track down her roots in France. Some of the things were plausible- that a small town archivist would have 16th-century bibles on his desk uncataloged, but some were not (letting her take it home and keep it, because it belonged to h...more
Fanda VIXXIO
Kalau ini adalah novel pertama yang ditulis Tracy Chevalier, aku takjub. Karena dari awal ia sudah berhasil membuatku ikut hanyut dalam kisah fiksi sejarah bernuansa realisme magis, romance dan religius ini...

Sejarah yang diambil adalah reformasi Protestan yang terjadi di abad 16, ketika Calvinisme merebak di Prancis dan Swiss. Saat itulah Isabelle du Moulin hidup sebagai gadis kecil berambut merah (dijuluki La Rousse seperti julukan Perawan Maria), dan memiliki kecintaan dan kedekatan pada Bund...more
Kim
At first when I read this book I was NOT liking it at all. I was confused about some parts that I had read and was not sure that I liked it at all.
After meeting and discussing "The Virgin Blue" with the women in the book club, there were elements of the story that really changed for me. Although I think my feelings on this book are still the same- I was able to gain some new insight to the story.
We discussed what happen to Isabelle- did she die, was she murdered, or did she just leave her husba...more
Endah
Sebagai pendatang, Ella Turner merasa sangat terasing berada di Prancis, tepatnya di kota kecil Lisle-sur-Tarn. Bahasa dan budaya setempat menjadi kendala utama dan membuatnya tidak kerasan. Ia yang terbiasa bebas di tengah masyarakat Amerika yang individual, sedikit mengalami kesulitan bergaul dengan para tetangga barunya yang senang bergunjing dan serba ingin tahu urusan orang lain. Suaminya, Rick, terlalu sibuk dengan pekerjaan kantor, sehingga nyaris tak punya waktu menemani. Praktis, Ella m...more
Sara
This is one novel that, in my estimation, did not live up to the hype.

Ella Turner is a recent California transplant, leaving behind Hollywood for the old world European charm of rural France. She and her husband have bought a small home, full of character and charm, in a small town in the French countryside near Toulouse. France however does not live up to Ella's expectations. The people are closed, suspicious, and incredibly difficult to get to know. Unable to breach their defenses, Ella immer...more
Dawn
This book is about two different women living in two different times. They are related by blood as well as circumstance. Isabelle, living in the 1600s (I believe) and Ella, living in the present. Isabelle and Ella are both marries but Isabelle’s marriage is full of torment and lacks love, Ella’s marriage is comfortable. When Ella’s husband gets a new job in France, Ella moves with him and becomes interested in finding out about her French ancestors. As she begins to research she meets a man with...more
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Unanswered questions- virgin blue 6 178 Mar 13, 2014 06:47PM  
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1973
Born:
19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.

Childhood:
Nerdy. Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading. Favorite authors back then: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L’Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. Book I would have taken to a desert island: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

Educa...more
More about Tracy Chevalier...
Girl With a Pearl Earring The Lady and the Unicorn Remarkable Creatures Falling Angels The Last Runaway

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