Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

January 15, 2012
By CharChar BRONZE, Lake Stevens, Washington
CharChar BRONZE, Lake Stevens, Washington
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The first few chapters of the book, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier identifies the main character, Griet and her family. The first chapter, from which this quote is taken, sets the scene of how Griet lives:
My mother did not tell me they were coming. Afterwards she said she did not

want me to appear nervous. I was surprised, for I thought she knew me well. Strangers would think I was calm. I did not cry as a baby. Only my mother would note the tightness along my jaw, the widening of my already wide eyes. (Chapter one, Girl with a Pearl Earring)
This story is told from Griet's point of view as a sixteen-year-old girl. She talks about her younger sister, Agnes, and older brother, Frans, as well as her mother and father. “The man was watching me,” Griet observes “his eyes grey like the sea”. The book goes on to talk about her life in Delft, Holland and all the work she must do to support herself as well as her family.

Near the middle of the story Griet starts her new job as a maid. She has to go get water from the canal and describes this task, “Aleydis [one of her master's daughters] led me to the stairs that descended to the water. As we peeked over, I tightened my grip on her hand”. I enjoyed this part of the book because it shows how Griet values people. I can see myself in her; I am over cautious and protective of others just as Griet is.
As soon as Griet starts learning her place in the house a death occurs. This rattles Griet's life dramatically. To make matters worse her master's wife is going to have another baby, and is not in a good mood. This is when the book starts to get more and more exciting; setting off a chain of events culminating in the epic ending to this fascinating book. The ending just might be my favorite part in the whole book. You will have to read it to find out why.

This book is well written and fascinating. I would recommend it to everyone, especially art and history lovers. It takes place in Holland in the 1660's and walks you through a young girl's life. It tells about all the hardships she faced supporting her family in difficult times. I felt like I was in Holland and I was watching all of this happening to Griet. The ending of the book was not what I expected. However, the author did very well with giving it a solid ending. Overall, I think that this book was very good and I really liked the plot and characters.

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