Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Review: Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier


I loved this book, the beautiful description used through out was able to paint a vivid image of the city during the 17th century. The protagonist, Griet, is a maid to a Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, whom she falls in love with but finds out that the feelings are not mutual. Griet is also unsure about the butcher boy who wants her hand in marriage. Through the book Griet experiences: the jealousy of 'the other woman', the burden of her parents expectations of her to be able to look after them and the well known pain for all, the pain of moving away from home. I found this book captivating by being able to paint images in my mind of times in Europe in the 17th century, since it fascinates me the way people lived back then.

The book is beautifully written with an obvious amount of research done on the time period and the painter.   The pace of the book is also very slow, not a lot happens over the the three years Griet lives with the Vermeers. 
Girl with a Pearl Earring centres 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 Earringdoes contain a final delicious twist.

I  love this book and think many other Young Adults will enjoy it since, I like many others love historical fiction and will spark a lot of interest. I don’t think this book would be interesting to most boys. I would definitely recommend this to any historical fans but be warned  this book moves at a slow pace.

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