Girl With a Pearl Earring
History and fiction merge seamlessly in Tracy Chevalier's luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Griet, the world of 1660s Holland comes dazzlingly alive in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings.
Popular Answered Questions
Chevalier has won a place in my heart and bookshelf. Her novels are well-crafted, sim ...more
The short answer would be 'no'.
Now for the longer answer...
Chevalier is probably one of the best-known historical nov ...more
The Girl With the Pearl Earring
When the Vermeers came to visit Griet’s home she had no idea they were there for her. Her parents had decided, given their near destitution, to find Griet a position as a maid with a wealthy ...more
The popular fame obtained by this book and its subsequent movie version starring Scarlett Johansson...
*two hours later*
(Sorry, I was daydreaming)...had me expecting a tumultuous romance, a grab-ya and hold-ya reading experience. But this...I don't know what this was, but it wasn't exciting in the least.
Girl With a Pearl Earring is about a maid, who becomes a model, who gets her picture painted and attracts the notice of a few men. The painter is famous, so tha ...more
But it's not a good sign when a book's most compelling moments revolve around two people grinding pigments. And, no: "Grinding pigments" is not a euphemism for artist-bangin'. It is, quite literally, referring to the detailed descriptions of how paint was ma ...more
Griet has a first-rate mind, concealed in the body of - essentially - a peasant. This poor maid is the only person who truly understands Vermeer's work. The relationship she develops with the painter is satisfyin ...more
The “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is a painting done by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, around 1665. Not much is known about Vermeer which gives Chevalier creative license to develop what I believe is an interesting story. The painting is currently on exhibition in New York, at the Frick Collection. The exhibition is scheduled to be there until January 19, 2014.
The story told in first person by Griet the protagonist starts in Delft (South Holland) ...more
Some of my thoughts as I read:
1. The society of the time classified everyone as a "have" or a "have not". For a girl who was in between it was a matter of time before she was forced to one side or the other. She never fit in either world.
2. Clearly this girl had a raw, undeveloped talent for art. Had she lived in a different century would she have been the artist instead of the muse? Her role w ...more
This is a book that fictionalizes what might have been behind the famous Vermeer painting, "Girl with a Pearl Earring". Griet's family is destitute, and now she must work as a maid in the Vermeer household, cleaning up the famous painter's workstation. Slowly, she grows more interested in her master, and her master in her.
I am not what you would call an artsy person. I make an effort to decorate my home nicely, I can pick out ...more
Ever since I read The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant, I have loved books which involve art and artists. I don't claim to have much kn ...more
My interest in art over the years was quite inconsistent and I started by liking the mod ...more
Well, try picking up this book. It should put you to sleep in 10minutes flat.
The story about the most boring people in the world, told by a girl who has the most boring thoughts and ideas in history. Even while getting groped in the alley, she thinks of the clouds! I mean really!!!
At times, I liked some of the description used, but at others it was so wrong I wanted to poke my eyes out and burn the book.
Characterisation does not seem to be something Tracy is ...more
Being someone who has dabbled in painting and constantly seeks to understand emotions, this book does well to provide a little insight into the process of painting and the complexities of life, especially the layering of paint and complexities with capturing light and colour of subject ...more
Qualche tempo fa, su Sky Cinema andava ininterrotto in programmazione un film dall'enigmatico titolo, appunto quello del libro in questione (film e libro omonimi) e mia sorella rimaneva lì a guardarlo per tutte le ore ininterrotte. Da poco, sono passati quasi due anni da questa ipnosi cinematografica, ho chiesto a mia sorella che cosa abbia pensato del film che tanto intensamente guardava, aspettan ...more
To date, I've read only one bad review of this slight novel, and a whole lot of excellent ones. I'm casting my vote on the excellent side. Chevalier took one of Vermeer's best-known and most enigmatic paintings and built a story around it (there are a series of these novels; Joyce Carol Oates' I Lock My Door Upon Myself is the only other one I've read, and it is similarly excellent). Griet, a sixteen-year-old from the Protestant side of th ...more
"Ora avevo capito.
"Sì. Non muoverti." Aveva incominciato a farmi il ritratto."
Suggestivo. È l'unico modo che ho per descriverlo. Suggestivo ma, forse, un po' incompleto. Tenterò di spiegarmi meglio: il quadro prende forma sotto i tuoi occhi. Vermeer è lì nel suo atelier; davanti a lui cavalletto e colori, Griet e i suoi occhi grandi, indagatori, rassegnati. Passano i mesi e il quadro muta e muta di nuovo, fino a raggiungere la perfezione. Vermeer posa il pennello; i colori vengono relegati ...more
My romance credentials are these: although I have never read a romance novel, I have seen the covers of romance novels. And I've also listened to people I know discuss romance novels. So with that it mind...
It struck me as cheesy in a Fabio r ...more
I really have to give Chevalier credit. This book was easy to read and very engaging. I am a fan.
On a side note - the movie made from this (with Scarlett Johansonn and ...more
This book was set in 17th century Delft and detailed the journey of Griet, a young woman who becomes a maid and, eventually, muse for the artist (who did exist) Vermeer.
The reason why I really liked this book is the extraordinary way Chevalier describes the ordinary: A trip to the butcher or a walk across the city is so beautifully detailed ...more
Not a lot of depth, but an enjoyable story, and I'd probably read this author again.
The novel centres around her, and her relations with the others in the painter's household. She has an uneasy time with the other servant, ...more
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19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.
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.