Sunday, August 03, 2014

Book review: Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier

I talked about my reading of Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring yesterday, and I was right. It is an absolutely excellent book.

I was updating my GoodReads account when I read this gentleman's review, and he literally took the words right out of my mouth.
David M. Perez's review of Girl with a Pearl Earring
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, more 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. (Emphasis mine)

Yes, in comparison to the movie, you will get the whole story. The plot of the story is resolved where the movie left it more or less hanging.

I will be reading Chevalier's other books, but I will keep them till much later. Pastor Marvin recommended a book today, which got me interested. I already got a copy and started on it.

My fourth book for the weekend!


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