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Tracy Chevalier is the author of six previous novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Virgin Blue, Falling Angels, The Lady and the Unicorn, Burning Bright and Remarkable Creatures. Born in Washington, DC, she moved to London in 1984, where she lives with her husband and son.
The film of Girl with a Pearl Earring, starring Colin Firth as Vermeer, was released in the UK in January. It was nominated for 10 BAFTAs and two Academy Awards.
Photograph © Eammon McCabe
A lovely, gentle exploration of a bygone time, yet there is a quiet strength to this compelling read. It is also one of those books that just may surprise you. Violet Speedwell, still suffering the loss of both her fiancé and brother in the First World War, moves to Winchester in search of a new life. Canvas embroidery, bellringing, the surplus of women after the war, expectations and the judgement of society, all sit alongside each other as Violet explores new thoughts and feelings. Tracy Chevalier writes with true eloquence, the descriptions bloom, the characters sing, and she allows you to ponder, to consider. Notes of caution and unease pierce the tale, with occasional moments of biting intensity. Violet is fascinating, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her. In the acknowledgements I found out about the character who actually did exist, and I now want to explore Winchester Cathedral. Expressive and beautifully readable, A Single Thread is an engaging and rewarding tale.
20th Anniversary Edition When Griet’s father, a notable tile-maker, is blinded she goes to work for artist Vermeer to support her destitute family. She’s an outsider from the start, a poor Protestant in a well-to-do Catholic household who’s regarded with suspicion by her fellow staff, especially when she alone is entrusted to venture into the master’s studio. Soon enough Griet experiences the magic of artistic creation, of seeing colour anew, of seeing everything anew. But, as her passion for art is aroused so too is an ache of guilt as she grows ever distant from her family. Then there’s the attention and lusts of the handsome butcher’s son who seeks her hand in marriage, and the lascivious approaches of her master’s wealthy patron. The intrigue and tension of the Vermeer household, and the ebb and flow of life in a 17th century Dutch market town are described in painterly detail through Griet’s keenly observant eyes as a swelling scandal spills to the outside world from within the duplicitous household. At once a compelling page-turner and a tour de force of tension and coming-of-age turmoil, this novel remains a must-read for historical fiction fans some twenty years after publication.
She noticed him before anyone else...Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat's son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day - so he's lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can't stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players - teachers and pupils alike - will never be the same again.
The twenty-one stories in Reader, I Married Him - one of the most celebrated lines in fiction - are inspired by Jane Eyre and shaped by its perennially fascinating themes of love, compromise and self-determination. A bohemian wedding party takes an unexpected turn for the bride and her daughter; a family trip to a Texan waterpark prompts a life-changing decision; Grace Poole defends Bertha Mason and calls the general opinion of Jane Eyre into question. Mr Rochester reveals a long-kept secret in Reader, She Married Me , and The Mirror boldly imagines Jane's married life after the novel ends. A new mother encounters an old lover after her daily swim and inexplicably lies to him, and a fitness instructor teaches teenage boys how to handle a pit bull terrier by telling them Jane Eyre's story.
In her last novel, The Last Runaway, Tracy Chevalier returned to her American roots for the first time, setting her story on the Ohio frontier in 1850. At the Edge of the Orchard opens in similar circumstances: James Goodenough, whose family had originally settled in Connecticut from England brings his family to Ohio to carve out a new life for them in the Black Swamp in 1838. His ancestors had brought a graft of an Orange Pippin and James – via regular encounters with Jonny Appleseed – has done so too, setting himself ultimately on a course against his wife Sadie. As swamp fever gradually picks off their children and they wrestle daily with survival, Sadie wants nothing more than to lose herself in applejack, made from the ‘spitter’ trees that James rejects and attempts to civilise and graft into ‘eaters’, and particularly into his precious pippins. This course will see their family engulfed in tragedy and fifteen years later we pick up with their youngest son, Robert who has been running west since the trying to escape his memories of what happened, taking solace in a very different kind of tree – the redwoods and sequoias of California. But Robert’s past catches up with him and he’s forced to confront what he’s running from and work out for himself that you can’t run for ever. A fascinating insight into early American life written with Tracy’s trademark style and panache. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
One of our Books of the Year 2013. Renowned author of Girl with a Pearl Earring turns to the American slave trade for her next historical drama. A young, naïve English Quaker in 1850’s Ohio is torn between her conscience and the law. She befriends runaway slaves, helping them escape to Canada through secret routes and safe houses. Plucky, strong women dominate this very fine book. It’s a good insight into the early Quaker settlers’ lives and the dark period of American history just prior to the Civil War, beautifully written in a ponderous read. The Lovereading view... Set in Ohio in 1850, the stunning new novel from the bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring examines belief, duty and conscience against the backdrop of slavery. Quaker Honor Bright sails to America in the hope of a new life but finds little physical comfort in the harsh lands of Ohio or spritual sanctury in the Quaker community she settles in. Hailed as her best work since Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Last Runaway is a very satisfying read.
In this story of female friendship and fortitude, Tracy Chevalier shows her skill for working history’s lost individuals into far-reaching fiction. Set in 19th century Lyme Regis, it centres on the bond between Mary Anning, a penniless girl who hunts fossils to make a living, and spinster Elizabeth Philpot. As Mary’s finds begin to attract the big boys of science – and a dashing chancer – her friendship with Elizabeth is compromised.
Jean le Viste, a newly-wealthy member of the French court, commissions a series of tapestries to hang in his chateau named 'The Lady and the Unicorn.' Nicolas, his chosen designer, is a talented artist. He is also dangerously attractive to the women around him including le Viste's wife, Genevieve, and his daughter, Claude. Nicolas is at once smitten with Claude but will her social standing prevent her from returning his advances? As Nicolas begins to weave the tapestries so too do the lives and desires of the people around him intertwine. As people fall in love, are shunned, take revenge, find unrequited love, turn to the church or to pagan ideals, the tapestries become to each an ideal vision of life -- yet all discover that they are unable to make this ideal world their own.
The compelling story of two women, born four centuries apart, and the ancestral legacy that binds them. Perfect for fans of Barbara Erskine, Kate Morton and Sarah Waters, this is historical fiction at its very best.
A poignant and historical tale of two families brought reluctantly together, Falling Angels is an intimate story of childhood friendships, sexual awakening and human frailty. Its epic sweep takes in the changing of a nation, the fight for women's suffrage and the questioning of steadfast beliefs. Will friendship overcome the social boundaries of Edwardian London?
The wonderful new novel from the much loved author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels. Flames and funerals, circus feats and seduction, neighbours and nakedness: Tracy Chevalier's new novel 'Burning Bright' sparkles with drama. London 1792. The Kellaways move from familiar rural Dorset to the tumult of a cramped, unforgiving city. They are leaving behind a terrible loss, a blow that only a completely new life may soften. Against the backdrop of a city jittery over the increasingly bloody French Revolution, a surprising bond forms between Jem, the youngest Kellaway boy, and streetwise Londoner Maggie Butterfield. Their friendship takes a dramatic turn when they become entangled in the life of their neighbour, the printer, poet and radical, William Blake. He is a guiding spirit as Jem and Maggie navigate the unpredictable, exhilarating passage from innocence to experience. Their journey inspires one of Blake's most entrancing works. Georgian London is recreated as vividly in Burning Bright as 17th-century Delft was in Tracy Chevalier's bestselling masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring.
FROM THE GLOBALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING 'Bittersweet ... dazzling' Guardian 'Deeply pleasurable ... the ending made me cry' The Times 'Told with a wealth of detail and narrative intensity' Penelope Lively Violet is 38. The First World War took everything from her. Her brother, her fiance - and her future. She is now considered a 'surplus woman'. But Violet is also fiercely independent and determined. Escaping her suffocating mother, she moves to Winchester to start a new life -a change that will require courage, resilience and acts of quiet rebellion. And when whispers of another world war surface, she must live with a secret that could change everything...
Tracy Chevalier brings Shakespeare's harrowing drama of jealousy and revenge to a 1970s era elementary school playground.Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, diplomat's son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day so he's lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can't stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players teachers and pupils alike will never be the same again. The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant ';girlfriend' Mimi Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.
A charming collection of stories and fables inspired by Britain's nineteen species of native trees, written by nineteen of Britain's leading authors. Why Willows Weep is edited by Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, and contains beautiful colour illustrations by Canadian artist Leanne Shapton. With sales in hardback of 10,000 this collection has already helped the Woodland Trust plant nearly 50,000 trees across the United Kingdom, and it is now available in paperback for the first time.
A short story by Tracy Chevalier from the collection Reader, I Married Him: Stories inspired by Jane Eyre.In 'Dorset Gap', two students walk in the countryside after a night of partying and miscommunicate over Jane Eyre.Edited by Tracy Chevalier, the full collection, Reader I Married Him, brings together some of the finest and most creative voices in fiction today, to celebrate and salute the strength and lasting relevance of Charlotte Bronte's game-changing novel and its beloved narrator.
Romanul La marginea livezii urmareste drumul pe care familia Goodenough si-l croieste in speranta unei vieti mai bune. Pentru ca in Connecticut, de unde e de fel James Goodenough, pamantul familiei nu ajunge tuturor fratilor, el hotaraste sa-si caute propriul pamant al fagaduintei. Se stabileste cu familia intr-un tinut deloc prietenos din Ohio, unde planteaza o livada: aceasta era semnul limpede al intentiei colonistului de a ramane. Dar pamantul ostil seamana dusmanie intre James si sotia lui: el se incranceneaza in incercarea de a-l imblanzi, iar Sadie alege sa uite de lumea brutala care-o inconjoara cu ajutorul rachiului de cidru. Cu anii, prapastia dintre cei doi se adanceste si, intr-o clipa necugetata, totul se naruie. Incercand sa se salveze, Robert, fiul mai mic, fuge de-acasa - va deveni miner cautator de aur, apoi, pe urmele tatalui sau care iubea copacii, ajutor al unui colector de plante. Trecutul il ajunge insa din urma...
';With impeccable research and flawless prose, Chevalier perfectly conjures the grandeur of the pristine Wild West . . . and the everyday adventurersmale and femalewho were bold enough or foolish enough to be drawn to the unknown. She crafts for us an excellent experience.' USA TodayFrom internationally bestselling author Tracy Chevalier, a riveting drama of a pioneer family on the American frontier1838: James and Sadie Goodenough have settled where their wagon got stuck in the muddy, stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio. They and their five children work relentlessly to tame their patch of land, buying saplings from a local tree man known as John Appleseed so they can cultivate the fifty apple trees required to stake their claim on the property. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle. James loves the apples, reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut; while Sadie prefers the applejack they make, an alcoholic refuge from brutal frontier life.1853: Their youngest child Robert is wandering through Gold Rush California. Restless and haunted by the broken family he left behind, he has made his way alone across the country. In the redwood and giant sequoia groves he finds some solace, collecting seeds for a naturalist who sells plants from the new world to the gardeners of England. But you can run only so far, even in America, and when Robert's past makes an unexpected appearance he must decide whether to strike out again or stake his own claim to a home at last. Chevalier tells a fierce, beautifully crafted story in At the Edge of the Orchard, her most graceful and richly imagined work yet.From the Hardcover edition.
Three of Tracy Chevalier's highly acclaimed novels, GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, REMARKABLE CREATURES and FALLING ANGELS packaged together in one eBook for the first time.GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRINGTracy Chevalier's extraordinary novel on the corruption of innocence and the price of genius is a contemporary classic and an international bestseller.17th Century Holland. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of Johannes Vermeer in the town of Delft, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry and the care of his six children. But as she becomes part of his world and his work, their growing intimacy spreads tension and deception in the ordered household and, as the scandal seeps out, into the town beyond.REMARKABLE CREATURESIn the early 19th century, a windswept beach along the English coast brims with fossils for those with the eye...From the moment she is struck by lightning as a baby, it is clear Mary Anning is different. Her discovery of strange fossilized creatures in the cliffs of Lyme Regis sets the world alight. But Mary must face powerful prejudice from a male scientific establishment, not to mention vicious gossip and the heartbreak of forbidden love. Then in prickly, clever Elizabeth Philpot, a fossil-obsessed spinster, she finds a champion. Despite their differences, Mary and Elizabeth's passion must win out...FALLING ANGELSJanuary 1901, the day after Queen Victoria's death: two families visit neighbouring graves in a fashionable London cemetery. One is decorated with a sentimental angel, the other an elaborate urn. The Waterhouses revere the late Queen and cling to Victorian traditions; the Colemans look forward to a more modern society. To their mutual distaste, the families are inextricably linked when their daughters become friends behind the tombstones. And worse, befriend the gravedigger's son.A poignant tale of two families brought reluctantly together, Falling Angels is an intimate story of childhood friendships, sexual awakening and human frailty.
Tracy Chevalier's new novel is set in London at the end of the eighteenth century and its a wonderful read on every level. It is three years after the French Revolution; paranoia and unrest are in the air and we are invited to stay in a gerry-built terrace house on the seamy South Bank near Westminster Bridge, part of the estate owned by a flamboyant circus impresario. One of the neighbours is William Blake, poet, artist, revolutionary and most famously author of the seditious poem Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bright. We follow the fortunes of teenager Jem and his family, newly up from Dorset, and the low life they encounter.
The new novel from the author of the much-loved Girl with a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels.The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries are a set of six medieval tapestries. Beautiful, intricate and expertly made, they are also mysterious in their origin and meaning.Tapestries give an appearance of order and continuity, as if designed and made by one person, belying the complicated process required to create them. Weavers, patrons, designers, artists, merchants and apprentices were involved in their making, and behind them were the wives, daughters and servants who exercised influences over their men. Like the many strands of wool and silk woven together into one cloth, so these people came together in a complex dance to create the whole picture.Jean le Viste, a newly wealthy member of the French court, commissions the tapestries to hang in his chateau. Nicolas, his chosen designer, meets le Viste's wife Genevieve and his daughter Claude, both of whom take a keen interest in the tapestries. From Paris, Nicolas moves to a weaver's workshop in Brussels. The creation of the tapestries brings together people who would not otherwise meet - their lives become entangled, and so do their desires. As they fall in love, are shunned, take revenge, find unrequited love, turn to the church or to pagan ideals, the tapestries become to each an ideal vision of life - yet all discover that they are unable to make this ideal world their own.
A brilliant historical novel on the corruption of innocence, using the famous painting by Vermeer as an inspiration.When Griet becomes a maid in the household of Johannes Vermeer, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry and the care of his six children. But as she becomes part of his world and his work, their growing intimacy spreads tension and deception in the ordered household and, as the scandal seeps out, into the town beyond.Tracy Chevalier's extraordinary novel on the corruption of innocence and the price of genius is a contemporary classic, and has sold over two million copies worldwide.