Girl with a Pearl Earring Girl with a Pearl Earring discussion

what did you think

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Talia rios what did you guys think of the book ?

Brisa i have mixed feelings about it. i don't know if i love it or i hate it. while your reading it you wait for them to have an affair that never happens, which is good but i thought there was going to be more drama. he loved painting her but not her necessarily. do you understand me?

Stacey Starley Too bad the author smeared one of the few masters that focused on family and tried to twist his works into something cheap for others entertainment. Not trying to offend anyone for liking it on an entertainment level because most people don't recognize his works...

Naomi I agree exactly Brisa!!!!

June i loved it. it was one of the most beatiful books i have ever read. i wish i could find more like it any one have any suggestions?

Heather June - I felt the same way about it! I just finished reading it again here recently and loved it just as much as I did the first time. Have you read any of Tracy Chevalier's other books? I've read Falling Angels by her, which I thought was good, but not Pearl Earring good. Chocolat by Joanne Harris is another beautifully written story, and also The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. You might check them out, if you haven't already read them. Good luck!

Beth Ann June: I agree with Heather - try Chavalier's other books. I also LOVED 13th Tale too! Good picks, Heather! But I'd also recommend 'Memoirs of a Geisha', which is another story that takes place inside the girl's head (which is the way I think of Pearl Earring). It's a very moving heartfelt story and again the film version DID NOT do it justice at all!

Heather Beth Ann - Thanks! :)

I have Memoirs of a Geisha on my to-read list...I've heard so many wonderful things about it and am anxious to read it! I wanted to ask you what other Chevalier books did you love? I want to read The Virgin Blue and also The Lady and the Unicorn. I attempted to read Burning Brightly but just couldn't get into it. It could be that I wasn't really in the mood for that story - I may try it again later.

Beth Ann The Lady and the Unicorn was really good - actually, it had some very intimate scenes in it too! haha! You'll have to tell me what you think! I love how she takes an item of artwork and creates a unique believeable story around it. I just think it is so creative and also well-researched too. I actually have the Virgin Blue to read. And I did read Falling Angels which wasn't as good as I hoped. You will really like Memoirs of a Geisha though I think. My Book Club ALL loved it, even though they were mixed about Pearl Earring. And the 13th Tale was great too. I'll try to think of other suggestions for you.

Heather Beth Ann - Thanks for the info! I look forward to reading The Lady and the sounds interesting. It's so hard sometimes to decide what to read next when I have so many great choices on my to-read list!

Zulfiya June wrote: "i loved it. it was one of the most beatiful books i have ever read. i wish i could find more like it any one have any suggestions?"

Totally agree.
Some books have this quality of being a quiet but extremely poetic book. 'The girl with the Pearl Earring 'is one of them. it is not a romance novel; it is a novel about art, and how life reflects art. Vermeer was a plodder of his kind, a genius of hard work and colors. Why should the novel be a suspenseful read? It would spoil the meditative pleasure of his paintings. I would say that both his pictures and the novel speak the same calm, soothing, quiet, unassuming, but talented language. I really appreciate the small pleasures of the book.

Marlene June and Zulfiya -- Agree wholeheartedly. Try reading it again later along with a book of Vermeer's art -- look at the paintings in their real context as you're reading the novel. Gives it a whole new texture.

message 13: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina Talia wrote: "what did you guys think of the book ?"
Definitely liked it on an entertainment level. I also think it was an interesting approach using the master as a foil for the narrative. Not sure how accurate it was, though--not well-versed enough. Will leave that determination to the art afficionados.

Thalia Talia wrote: "what did you guys think of the book ?"

I was rather disappointed in the book. It started well, but I kept waiting for something really interesting to happen. Some twist or surprise. Sadly, it never came. I'll probably give the author another go sometime though.

Gharden I agree with June - it was a simple pleasure to read this book - it was very poetic. I love books that don't give some suspenseful turn - it was certainly about life reflecting art.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her descriptions were vivid and I thought the ending very realistic.

Janice Worth reading.
Well worth remembering how a young girl can be "Trapped" by circumstances over which she has no control.

Beth Ann I'm enjoying the comments on this book. I loved it and really FELT for the girl as i was reading it - just like Janice said "trapped" by circumstances of her time and her position in society. I felt something too while I read "Kite Runner", although the emotions were totally different, i could argue that the main character was trapped as well...but he made certain choices that relfected the outcome....didn't feel like the girl could help anything that happened to her.
May I suggest another book "the Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, originally written in Spanish. It has that suspense that some of you are interested in, but also has a good pace (sometimes quick, sometimes slower) and some gothic elements and architecture. much longer read that "pearl", but one of my very favorites.

Malla Beth Ann wrote: "I'm enjoying the comments on this book. I loved it and really FELT for the girl as i was reading it - just like Janice said "trapped" by circumstances of her time and her position in society. I f..."

Thoroughly agree with your 5-star rating, Beth Ann. Easily one of the best books I've read. I'll look out for 'Shadow of the Wind'. Thanks for the recommendation. Have you read 'Remarkable Creatures' also by Tracy Chevalier? Also an excellent read.

Beth Ann Malla wrote: "Beth Ann wrote: "I'm enjoying the comments on this book. I loved it and really FELT for the girl as i was reading it - just like Janice said "trapped" by circumstances of her time and her position..."

Thanks for the recommendation - 'Remarkable Creatures' is on my to read list, but i haven't read it yet. I love how Chevalier takes a historic/true/acutal happening or circumstance or work or art and then just creates an amazing story - almost like a portrait of that time and place in our history. Of course, you know to take certain aspects of the story with a grain of salt, BUT the journey she takes you on is worth it in the end! Thanks for writing - and ENJOY!

Makay  Manis Stacey wrote: "Too bad the author smeared one of the few masters that focused on family and tried to twist his works into something cheap for others entertainment. Not trying to offend anyone for liking it on an..."

I actually thought that this portrayed Vermeer in a beautiful way. The way he considered his art, took so long to paint it. He refused to finish until the painting was DONE, completely done. The way she described how he looked with "painter's eyes" when he was suddenly inspired and the way he loved his children, watched his wife with tender eyes, and always called her by her name and with respect. I really enjoyed this book and totally understand that it was fiction. Possibly completely inaccurate, but extremely well written. The story is rich in the feelings and opinions of Griet which leaves us feeling empty when the plot suddenly ends in the richness of it's own when she is kicked out of the home of the great painter. Beautifully written. I loved it.

Jackie I really enjoyed the book. It was my first read after finals were done. Its was a nice way to start the summer. Not a difficult read and a nice story to add to one of my favorite paintings from the Northern painters.

message 23: by Lori (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lori I've read a few of Tracy Chevalier's books, and I found that they all had a similar, tragic theme. It was sort of a let-down, like she'd used a template for her books and fleshed them out with different names, time periods, etc. Just my opinion.

Dasha With each page I read, I waited for something (romance) to happen and it just flopped. That is basically what kept me flipping the pages. It is like trying to take a deep breath, where you feel almost almost but no.
The book itself is neutral to me. The art is beautiful but the book is plain.

Morgan I loved this book. It wasnt as clear as some other historical romance books but the romance was there. The passion and tension between Griet and her master was there and did keep you reading. Just because Tracy Chevalier didnt come out and say what happened between them, there was intimacy in a different way. Personally, when he placed the earring in her ear it was more meaningful than just stating what the metaphor symbolized.

Normandy I loved this book - beautifully written. The movie was good - book was better.

Teresa A beautiful story - loved the book and the movie interpretation.

Konihamaru whoa, never knew there was a movie! anyway, loved the book! i am so captivated by the silent romance between Griet and her master.

message 29: by Joan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joan I loved the book, I liked the movie, but the movie should have been longer.

Barbara I did not know there was a movie. I am almost afraid to see it because the book was so beautiful that I don't want the images marred. Should I rent it or leave well enough alone?

Angie It has been a nice story.

message 32: by Joan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joan Hi Barbara,
Some libraries you can rent the movie for $1.00. I ALWAYS like to see the scenery and characters of the book I just read. Just seen the movie The Help, so glad I seen the movie it was wonderful, I do the audio download from the library FREE,love the Dl, you hear all the different characters voices, and it is great. You can get the book and follow along to.

Walaa Elsabagh Amazing story and movie too... but I think Griet was just a perfect model for painting and he doesn't love here.

Scott I loved the novel. The movie was not very good; by losing the first person monologue, I felt it became hollow. But casting Alakina Mann as the bratty girl was perfect.

message 35: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa I enjoyed it. It was interesting and entertaining from beginning to end.

Kelley I have never been able to draw but love books about the passion of artists and especially the creativity of thinking up what is behind the making of a maser piece. i felt very caught up in Griet's life and could certainly feel the underlying sexual tension displayed so well by Johanssen and Firth in the movie. I can't wait to read more like it!

message 37: by Liza (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liza Perrat I loved it, so well-written, and an interesting story.

Clara I loved it. Another Tracy Chevalier's book i liked was The Virgin Blue, which i readed first, and becasue i like it so much i look for some other book by Chavalier. Its a great book.

message 39: by Tina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tina I really enjoy Tracy Chevalier too, having read Remarkable Creatures and Girl with a Pearl Earring. If you enjoy works of art in stories, I suggest Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland, which follows another Vermeer painting down through time and its different owners.

message 40: by Jane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jane Mettee I loved Girl With the Pearl Earring and Burning Brightly! Her other books didn't grab me in the same way.

Soukalita I think it is so charming... that's all I can say!!

Nikolina I love this book, but my favorite is The Virgin Blue. But her first book I have read was Falling angels, and I actually read that one three times, I think...It's also one of my favorites, there's something special about it, a can't explain it...

Soukalita Yes I agree.
When you fall in love of a book you just can't explain why!!

message 44: by Bev (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bev Putnam I loved it...can't wait to see the painting with my own eyes. Very interesting to create a story from a painting while weaving in facts about the master painter.

Katrina Passick Lumsden I liked this book. I think it showcased the artist/muse relationship without delving into that tawdry affair pit that so many other similar stories have succumbed to.

Genae Being an art student i adored this book. Its a beautiful piece of literature to have in your collection.

Carol Richards I thought the book beautifully crafted and the background very atmospheric especially the constrained atmosphere of the painter's household and the delicate balance in the relationship between master and female servant.

Iesha This book is a great! The story is very captivating and addictive.

message 49: by Joan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joan Iesha wrote: "This book is a great! The story is very captivating and addictive."
If you get a chance check your local library and get the movie , it's great

message 50: by Melissa (last edited Dec 14, 2012 06:33PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melissa It was beautiful, inventive, and believable. I loved it. I read it all in one night though, which made me feel conflicted; I didn't want it to end! Anyway, for the author to have loved the painting as much as she did, and to then be inspired enough write such a novel, I think it was very successful. Ms. Chevalier has much to be proud of.

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