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La Vierge En Bleu
Tracy Chevalier
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La Vierge En Bleu

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  24,589 Ratings  ·  1,547 Reviews
Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin—two women born centuries apart, yet bound by a fateful family legacy. When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start a family of her own. Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a peculiar dream of the color ...more
349 pages
Published 2005 by Éd. France loisirs (first published 1997)
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Frances I must have been about 11 or 12 when I read this. Looking back from the grand old age of 20, I think I was perhaps too young to appreciate it fully…moreI must have been about 11 or 12 when I read this. Looking back from the grand old age of 20, I think I was perhaps too young to appreciate it fully and I remember being embarrassed by the sex and none-too-happy grown-up relationships depicted.
I also remember lecturing some kid in my class who thought shouting "ginger" was funny on the history of red hair and religious persecution -which I think shows both the influence of this book and the kind of teenager I was!
Chevalier writes so beautifully and evocatively I can recollect scenes and images from the story even now so I would never not recommend her books. In this case however I would recommend your girl waits a few years so as to fully appreciate it. In the meantime, maybe she would enjoy "Burning Bright"; its protagonist is about her age and, for me, it kick started an interest in Blake which has served me very well throughout secondary school and university.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 02, 2009 Antof9 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2005-read
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
Tea Jovanović
Meni lično je ovo najdraža Trejsina knjiga... Inače nisam naročiti ljubitelj njenih romana...
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
Cat Tutt
Feb 17, 2017 Cat Tutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This book gets a pretty easy 4.5 stars from me. I'm a sucker for a good historical fiction with a female character researching her connection to her family's past, which is the basic sum of the plot. That said, this book had a lot going for it aside from my natural affinity for the plot line.

I will admit that a lot of my historical fiction reading has been by certain authors and set in certain areas, which may make the book more novel to me than to a more widely read historical fiction
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
Jan 12, 2008 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  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
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.
Mar 11, 2008 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Nov 17, 2008 Haydee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Liz Wright
May 19, 2008 Liz Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 27, 2009 Chana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jan 13, 2010 Stacy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2008 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Helvry Sinaga
Nov 21, 2011 Helvry Sinaga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eropa, fiksi-sejarah
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
Steve Shilstone
Apr 15, 2017 Steve Shilstone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This first in a long line of novels by an extraordinarily inventive and resourceful storyteller visits France of now and 400 years ago.
Jul 18, 2011 Sun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Elena T.
Jan 20, 2015 Elena T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
XVI secolo, in Francia: tutto il villaggio conosce Isabelle du Moulin come La Rossa, una ragazza dai capelli color rame, ma l'arrivo dei calvinisti – adepti al fanatismo della Riforma- renderanno il nomignolo di Isabelle sinonimo di stregoneria. Dopo le persecuzioni seguite alla Notte di massacro di San Bartolomeo, incinta, prenderà la via della fuga con il compagno – il giovane Tournier- trovando asilo in un remoto villaggio svizzero, che le riserverà tuttavia un futuro cupo e pieno di sofferen ...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
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
Before penning her bestselling novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier wrote The Virgin Blue, the mesmerizing story of two women living in France 400 years apart. Let me just say that I loved, loved, LOVED this novel! I couldn't bear to put it down and so I read it practically straight through in a matter of hours.

Chevalier's description of the people and towns of France both in present day and in the past are amazingly full of life and incredibly beautiful. It was impossible not to fal
Jan 30, 2009 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 02, 2015 Tasha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-reads
Unfortunatley, not a favorite of mine from this author. I usually really enjoy reading her books but this one, while it started out strong, just came together too quickly at the end and I was left very confused. It was also a bit heavy on the romance for my tastes. The early storyline was interesting and I enjoyed learning about French history but the second storyline was not engaging and felt a bit too false, it didn't really ring true for me.
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
Dec 22, 2007 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 31, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 10, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rosiemae Burton
Oct 16, 2016 Rosiemae Burton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Too descriptive, not enough plot, unlikeable, whiney charcters. Not my cup of tea
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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.

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