Liz Wright's Reviews > The Virgin Blue

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
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May 19, 08

Read in July, 2004

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 husband. Over the course of the novel Ella searches out her family history and finds that her family originated near where she now lives. The story is historical fiction while also discussing changes in relationships, personal revelations, and major life changes for many of the characters. I especially found the story changes by chapter interesting, and the way that Chevalier integrates the two main characters’ stories toward the end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in historical fiction and world literature. I would suggest that someone who does not know European religious history well read the Historical Note at the end before beginning the story though.
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