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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.
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.
Closing date: 01/11/2020
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
I have read this book so many times. And even after re-reading this book so many times, it is and will always remain one of my favourite books, a story that is evergreen and has such an emotional story worth retelling. Full review
Slow, seductive historical fiction. An exquisite and evocative read. Full review
A great classic of historical fiction about a world-famous portrait. Full review
A beautifully written, easy to read story. A real delight. Full review
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier is still as wonderful as it was twenty years ago when it first came out. The challenges Griet faces as a servant, her growing love of art and sitting for a portrait that ultimately leads to her demise combined with powerful descriptions of life at that time in 1660's makes this a great read. Full review
I have to confess never to have read this beautiful book. The author takes such a famous paining by Vermeer and brings it to life with a wonderful story set in the 1600s. Full review
A gently gripping story of how a beautiful young servant girl became the enigmatic subject of Vermeer’s famous painting. Well worth reading! Full review
A beautifully written, enthralling, evocative depiction of Delft in the time of Vermeer - a true page-turner. Full review
Tracy Chevalier has taken one painting and imagined the world it existed in, and it is sublime. Full review
I love the atmosphere in this book and the detailed descriptions. The subtle storylines and the grace of Griet draw you into Vermeer's world. Full review
Worth reading this book gives an insight to life in Holland long ago. It also gives one an appreciation for art. It's a well written book full of feelings about what happened and about a maid's life back then. Full review
Republished after twenty years 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' is an imaginative snapshot into the life of 'Griet', a fourteen year old Dutch girl, who leaves her home, to live and work as a maid in the house of the painter, Vemeer. Full review
'A portrait of radiance…Tracy Chevalier brings the real artist Vermeer and a fictional muse to life in a jewel of a novel.' Time
'It has a slow, magical current of its own that picks you up and carries you stealthily along…a beautiful story, lovingly told by a very talented writer.' Daily Mail
'A wonderful novel, mysterious, steeped in atmosphere, deeply revealing about the process of painting…truly magical.' Guardian
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
|Publication date:||7th February 2019|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
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 McCabeMore About Tracy Chevalier