Another one of my wife s recommendations I read a lot of books that way , I picked it up from the bookshelf the night we came back from seeing the film with Scarlett Johansonn and Colin Firth I loved the movie it was just so incredibly sumptuous and was curious to know the story in the novel, which I knew from experience, and from my wife s continuous comments, would be different, detailed I was right.Chevalier has won a place in my heart and bookshelf Her novels are well crafted, simple to follow, and addictive Girl was no exception The story of the maid Griet in 1600 s Delft, Holland, was amazing in its simple prose and endless emotion Completely fictional no one knows who exactly were the models for any of Vermeer s paintings , it nonetheless possesses a veracity that makes you believe Chevalier found the long lost journal of this unknown woman and wrote her novel based on it The details of seventeen century Holland are rich you feel you are walking the canal lined streets of Delft, smelling the pungent scents of the Meat Market, holding your breath as Vermeer paints next to you Griet is a wonderful protagonist, taking you into her world, yet retaining a few secrets for herself, especially where Vermeer is concerned.Girl is one of those novels that truly invites you, and almost kidnaps you, to become part of the story, to walk next to the characters, to share in their lives, to feel as they feel Watch the movie, by all means the photography is absolutely incredible , but then read the novel and get the whole story You will not be disappointed. The Dutch Painter Vermeer Has Remained One Of The Great Enigmas Of Th Century Dutch Art While Little Is Known Of His Personal Life, His Extraordinary Paintings Of Natural And Domestic Life, With Their Subtle Play Of Light And Colour, Have Come To Define The Dutch Golden Age The Mysterious Portrait Of The Anonymous Girl With A Pearl Earring Has Fascinated Art Historians 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 Centres On Vermeer S Prosperous Household In Delft In The S The Appointment Of The Quiet, Perceptive Heroine Of The Novel, The Servant Griet, Gradually Throws The Household Into Turmoil As Vermeer And Griet Become Increasingly Intimate, An Increasingly Tense Situation That Culminates In Her Working For Vermeer As His Assistant, And Ultimately Sitting For Him As A Model Chevalier Deliberately Cultivates A Limpid, Painstakingly Observed Style In Homage To Vermeer, And The Complex Domestic Tensions Of The Vermeer Household Are Vividly Evoked, From The Jealous, Vain, Young Wife To The Wise, Taciturn Mother In Law At Times The Relationship Between Servant And Master Seems A Little Anachronistic, But Girl With A Pearl Earring Does Contain A Final Delicious Twist In Its Tail Chevalier Acknowledges Her Debt To Simon Schama S Classic Study Of The Dutch Golden Age, The Embarrassment Of Riches, And The Novel Comes Hard On The Heels Of Deborah Moggach S Similar Tale Of Domestic Intrigue Behind The Easel Of Th Century Dutch Painting, Tulip Fever Girl With A Pearl Earring Is A Fascinating Piece Of Speculative Historical Fiction, But How Much Can Novelists Extract From The Dutch Golden AgeJerry Brotton I know almost nothing about art, but even I can tell that Girl With a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is a brilliant painting captivating is probably the best word to describe it One presumes that Chevalier agrees with me, and this is what lead her to write a novel about the painting, its subject and its creator So, is the novel as captivating as the piece that inspired it The short answer would be no.Now for the longer answerChevalier is probably one of the best known historical novelists of the last ten years, with this book always in the foreground when she is discussed As far as historical information goes, I think she does okay with it I had a pretty clear picture of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century by the time I was done with the book whether or not its accurate or not is another matter , but I felt at times that there wasn t that detail that critics proclaimed about on the cover.The characters, I feel, are never truly developed Vermeer himself remains a mystery throughout, even to the protagonist and narrator, Griet, who appears to have some connection with him Griet meanwhile, is what I would describe as a stock teenage girl character She is similar to many characters I ve read before, and yet she does not really advance on that.The narrative style is one that I would have adored at 14, but by now find to be pedestrian This is first person narrative at its simplest and blandest and I don t feel that we gain anything from it the novel may just as well have been in third person and would not have suffered for it It may even have benefited from it.The structure is interesting Split into parts that represent years, rather than having chapter breaks makes it difficult to find a stopping place at times, and it is this than anything else that makes a page turner of the novel Meanwhile, the entire thing seems to be building to the inevitable moment when Vermeer will paint Griet The scenes are handled with less intensity than I had hoped for from the build up, and once the painting is finished, Chevalier seems to want nothing but for the novel to be over too, and closes it down rather too quickly.Perhaps the fact that little is known about Vermeer s life would imply that a fictional version of it would be easy to tell Sadly, the gaps in knowledge seem to be too big to fill.At the end of the novel, I had discovered how this work came about, the girl staring out from it, but still had almost no real idea of the man behind it It is, in my opinion, a failure in this respect.However, it is a good read if you re looking for something historical but not too heavy Or if you like art there are some interesting discussions about colour in there I can see why many people enjoy this novel, but I cannot fathom why some hold it in such high acclaim I feel it will be some time before I read anything else by Tracy Chevalier. I approached this novel trepidatiously How could I ever suspend my disbelief with this work How could I ever believe such a ridiculous tale about Vermeer and one of his most revered paintings I must admit that I opened this novel expecting to utterly detest the lies it weaves By page two I realised that I was an idiot who should never be listened to Griet is hired as a maid to the Vermeer family in Delft This novel supposes that Griet the maid was the sitter for Vermeer s great work Girl with a Pearl Earring However that is not the story, or at least it is only a small part of it The novel mainly concerns the inner workings of the Vermeer household and Griet s attempts to keep everything in control It is a fantastic character study and I do admire Chevalier s bravery in using the first person narrative Whilst I will admit that at times Griet s dialogue is somewhat stilted and some lines are just downright odd His smile made me grip my broom tightly was one line that made me chuckle due to its utter ridiculousness , she is never an annoying or tiring character I really enjoyed the subtlety and delicacy of the novel The plot flows along nicely which causes you to really fly through the narrative It is not a criticism that I often voice but I would have almost liked for this novel to be longer I feel I will truly miss Griet I must say that I am somewhat smitten with this novel It genuinely surprised me It s really great. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy ChevalierGirl with a Pearl Earring is a 1999 historical novel written by Tracy Chevalier Set in 17th century Delft, Holland, the novel was inspired by Delft school painter Johannes Vermeer s painting Girl with a Pearl Earring Chevalier presents a fictional account of Vermeer, the model, and the painting The novel was adapted into a 2003 film of the same name and a 2008 play Sixteen year old Griet lives with her family in Delft in 1664 Her father has been recently blinded in an accident, and the family s precarious economic situation forces Griet s parents to find her employment as a maid in painter Johannes Vermeer s household Becoming a maid casts doubt on Griet s respectability because of the bad reputation that maids have for stealing, spying and sleeping with their employers It is not revealed how much of this reputation is earned At the Vermeers, she befriends the family s oldest daughter, Maertge, but is not on good terms with Cornelia, one of Vermeer s younger daughters She also becomes friendly with Tanneke, the other house servant, but is careful to remain modest and unobtrusive for fear of making Tanneke jealous 2001 1380 237 1381 269 9789645757401. So the parts when Vermeer was actually being a painter were interesting Seeing as I slogged through this on account of a recommendation that arose from an art class lecture on Vermeer, I was hoping that the art stuff would at least deliver But it s not a good sign when a book s most compelling moments revolve around two people grinding pigments And, no Grinding pigments is not a euphemism for artist bangin It is, quite literally, referring to the detailed descriptions of how paint was made in the days before those fancy metal tubes replaced pig bladders as the paint storing vessels of choice.This was the most predictable book I ve read in a while, and that includes the two graphic novel series that are simply retelling stories I know well in a new medium I knew exactly where the plot was going within the book s first dozen pages Every subsequent thread was introduced with the subtlety of a sledgehammer and the writerly finesse of a 14 year old s first attempt at fanfiction It was also pretty obvious what stereotype everyone was going to play from his or her very first appearance There really isn t a multi dimensional character in this book I understand that the first person voice is a limited perspective by its nature, and I would write it off as just that if the peripheral characters were the only flat archetypes, but even the narrator doesn t carry any convincing weight Griet is the protagonist because she s the main character And because all of the characters with whom she has scuffles are inexplicably bitchy Not giving characters any real motivations, not making them behave and interact believably, and generally preferring to tell rather than show all contributed to making this whole book feel sloppy, underdeveloped and rushed If Girl with a Pearl Earring was maybe 200 pages of really hammering out the story and its players, maybe then it d be a satisfying read At least it s mercifully quick and mostly painless at its current length.I say mostly painless because there are some groan worthy lines showcased here While pages would have maybe benefited the plot, there is nothing save for a control freak editor that could have improved the prose itself I could not get past the clunky writing It didn t take me long to get violently annoyed by the author s fondness for hitting the reader over the head with the most obvious attempts at subtle foreshadowing by way of forcing too much weight on these flimsy, laughably ominous one sentence paragraphs There were numerous other technical things that kept grating on me about the writing and its myriad shortcomings Among them Griet saying things like I always regretted that decision to indicate that she s looking back on a time that is very clearly written as the present not one character shows any development throughout the novel sixteen year old Griet, the daughter of a tile painter, somehow knows about painting and composition than Vermeer, a professional artist who actually managed to garner some fame during his living years Even when the book pissed me off which was often , I will admit that I never found Griet herself to be irritating maybe because I kept fantasizing about Scarlett Johansson to save my brain from oozing through my ears but I was irked at how it felt like Chevalier was Mary Sue ing her way through the character The way that every man whom Griet encountered in the whole damn book fawned over and flirted with her, the way she was presented as being uneducated but naturally clever just because she sometimes spoke her mind and separated her chopped veggies by color, the way Griet s family was painted as these simple, sheltered little Protestants who knew nothing of the world around them there was far too much black or white for me to take anything about the book seriously I don t care enough to write about this book any So Every other gripe I have notwithstanding, here are three of the book s most glaring failures Vermeer, for being the central male character, remains an enigma It s not that he s shrouded in an air of charming mystery but rather that his personality is nothing than a bunch of suppositions that Griet just knows about him Griet does not ever refer to Vermeer as anything other than he or himNot Once It made her sound like a starstruck teenybopper and it undermined any sense of genuine affection between the painter and his maid The similes Oh, dear sweet Baby Jesus, the similes I now know that I have a limited tolerance for the number of trite comparisons of faces and voices to household objects that I encounter in one novel, all thanks to the time I spent reading this book. I CAN T SHOUT MEHLOUD ENOUGH The popular fame obtained by this book and its subsequent movie version starring Scarlett Johansson two hours later Sorry, I was daydreaming had me expecting a tumultuous romance, a grab ya and hold ya reading experience But thisI don t know what this was, but it wasn t exciting in the least Girl With a Pearl Earring is about a maid, who becomes a model, who gets her picture painted and attracts the notice of a few men The painter is famous, so that s interesting His patron is rich, of course, and expects to get what he wants, so there s your villainkind of Really, our protagonist s main enemy is jealousy But that enemy s effectiveness is quashed by another force money And that leaves us with a less dramatically, emotionally affecting book I read through to the end, expecting something bigger to happen the whole way, but even though it never did, I did still manage to get through it all, so there s something to be said for that.In the end, however, this book has to say about as much as does a picture of a beautiful woman Not much In related newsMy overly sensitive and irrational wife would like me to take down my Johansson picture collage homage from the ceiling over our bed But as I ve explained, ScarJo needs the support of her 1 fan Beautifully written and read aloud, this is an imagining of the possible life of the girl depicted in Vermeer s lovely painting. Girl with a Pearl EarringTracy ChevalierPlume, 2001The Girl with a Pearl Earring is a painting done by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, around 1665 Not much is known about Vermeer which gives Chevalier creative license to develop what I believe is an interesting story The painting is currently on exhibition in New York, at the Frick Collection The exhibition is scheduled to be there until January 19, 2014.The story told in first person by Griet the protagonist starts in Delft South Holland , in 1664, when she was sixteen 16 Griet is the daughter of a tile painter who has recently lost his sight Griet parents hired her out as a maid to the Vermeer family Griet was expected to help out her family by bringing home the fruits of her labor In the first few pages of the book there is considerable change in this family The father has lost his sight, her brother Frans thirteen 13 has left home to start an apprenticeship, now Griet is leaving home to work Her younger sister Agnes is upset because she will be without both siblings Griet is concerned because her family is Protestant and while the Vermeer s are Catholic When the Vermeers visits Griet s house to determine her suitability for the job as maid they each looked at her differently Catharina, Vermeer s wife was concerned about Griet s physical ability to perform the job while Vermeer noted how she had laid out the vegetable she was cutting up for a stew separating them by color, in a circular pattern.The Vermeers have five 5 children with one on the way Vermeer s mother in law, Maria Thins, also lives in the house There are a couple of other servants who assisted in running the household, which gave room for conflicts in the story Griet s main job is doing the laundry and cleaning Vermeer s studio, but, she also helps with the kitchen and taking care of the children Griet was challenged by many conflicts primarily with Catharina, Cornelia one of the children , and Tanneke a long term servant She also has to fight off Vermeer s patron, van Ruijven He is married but has a reputation for chasing young maids.Griet later took on responsibility which included purchasing food for the family She noted that the Vermeer family use Pieter for their butcher She was to shop for the family daily and purchase the meat for the day Pieter had a son who showed interest in Griet, which was at first not returned.Griet showed interest in Vermeer s painting and asked him questions which he seemed to encourage He later showed her how he made his colors for his paintings Griet later became the subject of a portrait which he was commissioned by van Ruijven to paint.I think the author struggled at times to write as a sixteen 16 year old would think However, I enjoyed the book. .
Born 19 October 1962 in Washington, DC Youngest of 3 children Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.Childhood Nerdy Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading Favorite authors back then Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander Book I would have taken to a desert island Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery.Educa
- 308 pages
- Girl with a Pearl Earring
- Tracy Chevalier
- 12 August 2018 Tracy Chevalier