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Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)

by Tracy Chevalier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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15,730292250 (3.76)571
A maid becomes a model for the 17th century Dutch painter, Vermeer. The woman, an artisan's daughter with a strong power of observation, describes his manner of work, his household and life of the day, including the rigid class system and religious bigotry. A debut in fiction.

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» See also 571 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 266 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  Gmomaj | Mar 21, 2021 |
Normally, I’m not a very big fan of most books set before the nineteenth century, but this one was set in the seventeenth century and was amazing! This was a very enjoyable read and I love how descriptive Chevalier’s writing is. ( )
  Akacya | Feb 28, 2021 |
In seventeenth century Holland Griet is about to become a maid. She is sixteen years of age. Her father was blinded in an accident so the family are suffering financially. She will not make much money, but what little she does will help feed her parents, she will also be living where she works, so that will be one less mouth to feed.

She has been hired by the Vermeer family. Her father was a tiler and Johannes Vermeer is a member of the same guild, that is possibly why she was recommended to them. But he is also a Catholic and so lives in an area of Delft that Griet, as a Protestant, is not too familiar with.

Ever since first meeting the Vermeer’s she realised that the lady of the house might not be so easy to get along with. A suspicion that is proven correct.

Supposedly this is a classic. The blurb says so. I didn’t find it so. It is well told and well written. Easy to read. But nothing really happens apart from Griet working and getting in low level trouble. Okay at some points she could have been in serious trouble, but her manner of telling her story made it feel all a bit meh to me.

I didn’t dislike it. Don’t get me wrong. And I did feel for Griet at times. The constant sexual harassment every time Vermeer’s patron showed up was awful, and her persecution by Vermeeer’s daughter. But she was so very passive. Things happened to her, she very rarely tried to do or change anything.

It was fine. And I would be interested in reading more by Chevalier, simply because it was such an easy read despite me not loving anything about it. ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
It was a good story, but drug in parts. ( )
  pmichaud | Dec 21, 2020 |
A wonderful story, well told. Brings to life Delft in 1664. How accurate was the period described, I don’t know, but it came across as true. The description of time and place added a layer of texture to the story, without detracting or distracting. The Vermeer household and associated lifestyle was all the more believable because of how it fit into the various classes within Delft society: better off than some, but still clearly struggling to make ends meet. Griet’s relationships with the various people in her life, the changes in those relationships and the machinations of the Vermeer household make for an engaging story. The story is appropriately like a wonderful painting, rich in details and layers. The other thing I got from this novel: I looked at Vermeer’s paintings. Amazing. I knew nothing about him or his work before. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 266 (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
Chevalier, Tracyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bruning, FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eikli, RagnhildTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fortier-Masek, Marie-OdileTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gothóni, ArjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morahan, HattieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pugliese, LucianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riera, ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strandberg, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tremain, RoseForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vázquez, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wulfekamp, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A maid becomes a model for the 17th century Dutch painter, Vermeer. The woman, an artisan's daughter with a strong power of observation, describes his manner of work, his household and life of the day, including the rigid class system and religious bigotry. A debut in fiction.

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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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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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