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Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I picked this up when I was looking for a book to take to the beach. I had in mind some bird-brained, pink-covered chic-lit that was at least entertaining. But I finally decided on Girl with a Pearl Earring; at least it was required reading for school.

Johannes Vermeer's renowned painting, around which this novel is based, adorns the cover. Initially, I assumed it was one of those books with a pretty cover but no substance, like Twilight. And the few reviews from friends didn't help. According to them, I was about to read a boring drag of a book. Great!

When I began, I thought, Okay, this isn't so bad. I couldn't help but be swayed by Tracy Chevalier's stunning imagery. This becomes more and more impressive, especially by the time Griet, the protagonist, starts assisting Vermeer. Chevalier includes some very detailed and accurate descriptions of Vermeer's paintings and how they were created.

Another reason to give kudos to Chevalier is that she wrote the novel using flawless historical detail. It is set in 17th century Holland during the time when geniuses like Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek and Vermeer, good friends in the novel, walked the earth. Griet, who worked as a servant to the wealthy Vermeer, lives through this important period of art and science.

Much of the story is fictionalized including the idea that Griet was the inspiration for Vermeer's masterpiece, the “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” which is often called “The Mona Lisa of the North.”

I knew I was completely engrossed when I chose to read it instead of watching TV and finished it in just four days. Being a fan of art, I particularly enjoyed this book. I always look for good descriptions and writing style. The novel itself was like a painting oozing with shades of beautiful descriptions and hues of historical context.

I absolutely recommend this book to avid readers or admirers of art. This book, at least to me, is a must-read.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Peinxfruit said...
Jan. 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm
That book is one of my absolute favorites and I'm not even really into historical fiction, but this one was different. It is so ineteresting and as you said the writing is beautiful and it describes everything so nicely that sometimes I felt like I was there! Personally the girl with the learn earring is my favorite painting and reading the book (although it's just fiction) has made love it so much more. I seriously recommend it to anyone!
 
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