Suzanne's Reviews > I Am Rembrandt's Daughter

I Am Rembrandt's Daughter by Lynn Cullen
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's review
Apr 24, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: genre-historical-fiction, language-english, genre-ya-kids, topic-artists-and-writers, setting-benelux, time-modern-early
Read from January 19 to 22, 2012

Although I was a bit sceptical at first, I really did enjoy reading this YA novel about Cornelia van Rijn.

There are two story lines going on, in between the first and last chapter which take place after Rembrandt's death. You can easily recognize which story line is which as one is in italics and one is in roman. We get to know Cornelia as a kid, and the story is told by using Rembrandt's paintings, both from that period and earlier. In the other story line we get to know Cornelia as a young teen, falling in love for the first time. We get sucked in her world of books, her cat Tijger (dutch for Tiger) the growing ducklings in the canal and sounds of the peacocks across it, the love for her brother, her posing for "The Yewish Bride", the struggle to make ends meet, the common fear for the pest and the tolling of the death bells.

I love how the book really gives you a sense of daily life in 17th century Amsterdam, and who can resist a story of young love set in a place such as that? And of course, Rembrandt makes a wonderful and amusing subject for a book, as does his family life.

I did have some concerns though, most of all with the use of dutch words, being dutch myself. I'll hide them as a spoiler, not because I think they spoil the plot, but because they spoil my positive review. Feel free to read my rant at your own risk: (view spoiler)


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Reading Progress

01/21/2012 page 119
39.0% "As much as I enjoy reading this so far, being Duch, the random use of Dutch words in this book leaves me puzzled. Why use the dutch words mijnheer and mevrouw (sir and mrs.) and use the english words miss (dutch; juffrouw) and stadtholder (dutch; stadhouder.) Why leave most names of streets and landmarks in Dutch but translate some (Prince's Canal must be Prinsengracht... but what the hell is/was this New Maze Park?)" 1 comment
01/21/2012 page 171
56.0% "I finally managed to track down this New Maze Park on Google. Den Nieuwen Doolhof (which is its short name) interesting! I never knew about that :-) would be easier to google if it was just called by its dutch name :-)"

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Paige I was confused by the dates as well, but then I realized they're just referring to the date of the painting, not the date of the event occurring in that chapter. Each "flashback" chapter is associated with a certain painting that Cornelia sees/remembers/etc, and that painting's title and date serve as the title for those chapters.

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