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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

The Girl with a Pearl Earring

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

By Tracy Chevalier

What a pleasure!

This book has been on my TBR pile for a while (the movie version with Colin Firth is on my MoviesToWatch list too). The painting by the same name was created in 1665 by the Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer. Author Tracy Chevalier names her protagonist, the girl in the painting, Griet.

Her lovely face is haunting, elusive, young, pretty with flushed cheeks and barely-parted glossy lips—the perfect canvas for Chevalier to imagine the story of a girl-turning-into-a-woman, holding a crush for an older man, negotiating the female power-politics of her employer (wife, mother-in-law, a naughty 7-year-old and another servant). The contained world of this wealthy household in turn is contained in the small world of Griet’s village. Griet is trapped in both. Eventually she chooses to escape one but stays entrapped in the other. Wonderful characters and simple world-building in this novel. So glad I got it off my TBR.

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