Friday, July 19, 2013

Teen Review: Historical Fiction and Art

Girl With A Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier
233 Pages
Historical fiction
High School reading level
Not part of a series
Review by Denisa W., 11th grade

S U M M A R Y :
Girl With A Pearl Earring opens in Holland in 1664 with a 16-year-old girl, Griet, who becomes a maid for the acclaimed artist Vermeer. She is quiet and does what she is told, although she feels like an outcast, is hated by Vermeer’s wife (who is jealous of her youth), and struggles to get along with the children in the family. She develops a strange and friendly yet awkward relationship with Vermeer, whose studio she must precariously clean daily, and must complete tasks that she feels might put her in danger of his wife’s jealousy, such as posing for a painting. In the end, Griet becomes the model for Vermeer’s most famous work, Girl With A Pearl Earring, and starts her own life as an independent woman.

R E V I E W :
The book was very interesting to read, as it did not feel at all like a history textbook or a recitation of information. I spent two or three days reading it whenever I had the chance, as it was one of those books that you didn’t really want to put down. The cover of the book was somewhat interesting with the actual "Girl With A Pearl Earring" painting by Vermeer on it. However, some might not find the cover all that interesting, which is why I would like to let those readers know that the book is much better than what you would expect it to be. I would rate the story 4 out of 5 stars because I could not imagine a better story to go along with the time period and purpose for which it was written, but I have read better books in general. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a slight interest in historical fiction, and even those who just like an interesting story set in the past.

Editor's note: If you liked this book, you might also enjoy Girl in Hyacinth Blue, by Susan Vreeland. Read Clare's review. The library also offers the movie, starring Scarlett Johansson.

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