Title: Girl with a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Genre: Historical Fiction
What’s it about? A wonderful historical fiction set in Holland in the 1660s, describing the restrained attraction between an artist and his model. It was inspired by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and his painting of the same name. The story is told through the eyes of beautiful sixteen-year-old Griet, who works as a maid in the Vermeer household and develops a relationship with the painter. The friendship begins when Vermeer notices Griet’s eye for art. He sends her on errands, teaches her how to mix paints and has her pose as a substitute model. One of Vermeer’s wealthy patrons, known for his shameless behavior towards young girls, notices Griet’s beauty and asks Vermeer to paint a picture of the two of them. To protect Griet, Vermeer agrees to paint just Griet for the man. Vermeer gives Griet his wife’s pearl earrings to wear for the painting, a move that causes his already suspicious wife to act.
How did you hear about it? One of my book club friends selected it for our discussion.
Closing comments: It’s uncommon for everyone in a book club to like a book selection, but everyone in my group loved Girl with a Pearl Earring. Tracy Chevalier is a wonderful writer and does a great job depicting 17th century life in Holland.
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