ages: 12 and up
grades: 7-8 and up
years: 9 and up
on sale: now
copy from: school library
title: Girl with a Pearl Earring
author: Tracy Chevalier
Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant--and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model. Chevalier vividly evokes the complex domestic tensions of the household, ruled over by the painter's jealous, eternally pregnant wife and his taciturn mother-in-law. At times the relationship between servant and master seems a little anachronistic. Still, Girl with a Pearl Earring does contain a final delicious twist.
Anyway, on to the review!
This book is magical in it's simplicity. It's not too complicated. There's no war going on, there's no savaged, powerful pre-destined heroine or dangerous hero. It's simply about a maid working at a painter's home...and well, a bit more complicated than that. I think it's very well done, but also incredibly simple. It's a single story, following a single, easy plotline. It's both a good thing, and a slightly bad thing.
I really enjoyed the vague MC, Greit. She seems very bland, yet in that way she remains an enigma. I don't entirely know what's going on in her head, nor do I know the mind of Vermeer. Painters are always difficult to understand, but there's beauty in not understanding sometimes. I remember Michelangelo from The Agony and the Ecstasy being quite complicated as well. Artists are great characters.
The story itself is nice and sweet and poetic. Full of small details that make the story unforgettable. I give it four trees for making me think.