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Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
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Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999)

by Tracy Chevalier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (249)  Italian (4)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All (1)  German (1)  All (1)  Finnish (1)  Lithuanian (1)  All (268)
Showing 1-5 of 249 (next | show all)
Girl with a Pear Earring is a great historical fiction book. It allows students to learn what it was like to live in those days. This book would be for an upper level grade. I would say 7th or 8th grade would be the best. ( )
  alexisjm01 | Mar 15, 2017 |
Although I agree with some reviewers that the plot itself is neither surprising nor original, I really enjoyed The Girl with the Pearl Earring. The method of story telling through the eyes of the young and naive maid, Griet, brought an otherwise simple tale to life for me.

This was a fast read that was entirely pleasurable, even if I normally don't appreciate stories told in the first person. I enjoyed the author's writing, how she subtly captured Griet's feelings and the tensions within the Vermeer household and Griet's relationship with her own family.

A nice flight of fancy concocted from a classic painting. Well done! ( )
  Zumbanista | Mar 11, 2017 |
Girl With a Pearl Earring is such a beautifully written book with a compelling story. I find the story about young Griet working for Johannes Vermeer fascinating. How Tracy Chevalier used the painting of Girl with a Pearl Earring to weave such a fantastic story. Griet is just an ordinary girl, needing to work after her father had an accident and how her life changed after she came to the Vermeer household. it's not an easy position, it's only Johannes Vermeer that she's not having a problem with. And, I love that it doesn't turn out to be a cheesy forbidden love story. It goes deeper than that. I just love this book. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Feb 25, 2017 |
Chevalier has spun a beautiful piece of historical fiction around a famous painting. She tells the story of Griet, a maid in Vermeer's household, who becomes immersed in his world and his art.

Chevalier packs an emotional punch in a short novel, and makes art come alive through the written word. This is one of those books that truly deserves the hype it received upon its publication, and I'm only sorry I waited so long to finally read it. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Feb 12, 2017 |
Beautiful and very interesting. ( )
  buckwriter | Jan 29, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 249 (next | show all)
For a while it seems that it will be... an artist romance. Tracy Chevalier steers her novel deliberately close and tacks abruptly away. The book she has written, despite a lush note or two and occasional incident overload, is something far different and better... [Instead, it is] a brainy novel whose passion is ideas.
 
Chevalier's exploration into the soul of this complex but nave young woman is moving, and her depiction of 17th-century Delft is marvelously evocative.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tracy Chevalierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bruning, FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eikli, RagnhildTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fortier-Masek, Marie-OdileTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gothóni, ArjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pugliese, LucianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riera, ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strandberg, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vázquez, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wulfekamp, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Chevalier's classic book takes place during the 17th Century and features Griet, a young Dutch maid, who moves in with the family of the well-known artist Vermeer; she discovers that her profession requires long hours, no privacy, and small contact with her own ailing family. However, Griet's only place of solitude is when she cleans Vermeer's studio and reveals to him her appreciation of his art.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452282152, Paperback)

With precisely 35 canvases to his credit, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer represents one of the great enigmas of 17th-century art. The meager facts of his biography have been gleaned from a handful of legal documents. Yet Vermeer's extraordinary paintings of domestic life, with their subtle play of light and texture, have come to define the Dutch golden age. His portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has exerted a particular fascination for centuries--and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of Tracy Chevalier's second novel of the same title.

Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant--and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model. Chevalier vividly evokes the complex domestic tensions of the household, ruled over by the painter's jealous, eternally pregnant wife and his taciturn mother-in-law. At times the relationship between servant and master seems a little anachronistic. Still, Girl with a Pearl Earring does contain a final delicious twist.

Throughout, Chevalier cultivates a limpid, painstakingly observed style, whose exactitude is an effective homage to the painter himself. Even Griet's most humdrum duties take on a high if unobtrusive gloss:

I came to love grinding the things he brought from the apothecary--bones, white lead, madder, massicot--to see how bright and pure I could get the colors. I learned that the finer the materials were ground, the deeper the color. From rough, dull grains madder became a fine bright red powder and, mixed with linseed oil, a sparkling paint. Making it and the other colors was magical.
In assembling such quotidian particulars, the author acknowledges her debt to Simon Schama's classic study The Embarrassment of Riches. Her novel also joins a crop of recent, painterly fictions, including Deborah Moggach's Tulip Fever and Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue. Can novelists extract much more from the Dutch golden age? The question is an open one--but in the meantime, Girl with a Pearl Earring remains a fascinating piece of speculative historical fiction, and an appealingly new take on an old master. --Jerry Brotton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:39 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings. "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is the story of 16-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius, even as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil. An Independent Bestseller Winner of the 2000 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award! Tracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this richly-imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings. History and fiction merge seamlessly in this luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of sixteen-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius even as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil.… (more)

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