Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teen Review: Historical Fiction and Art

Title: Girl in Hyacinth Blue
Author: Susan Vreeland
Number of pages: 242
Genre: Historical Fiction
Not part of a series
High School Reading Level
Reviewed by Clare R., 11th Grade

Girl in Hyacinth Blue is one of the best books I've read in a long time. For anyone who loves art, culture, historical fiction, narratives, and mystery. It opens in the present age when a standoffish college professor unexpectedly invites a colleague over to his home and shows him a spellbinding painting. The shock comes when he attests to his dubious guest that it is an authentic Vermeer. Then the question arises: If it is a Vermeer, where did it come from and how did it come into your possession? And why are you showing it to someone now? Through a series of mini stories, the book traces backwards each ownership of the painting, back to its creation. It moves through wars, the rich and the poor, across the Atlantic. The novel is filled with pieces of art history and suspense, and is captivatingly eloquent and beautiful. By the end, the girl in the painting feels like a close friend due to the vivid descriptions given of her through the eyes of so many people.

Note: BPL also has this as an audio book.

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