Girl With A Pearl Earring: A Novel (movie Tie-in)

Paperback | September 30, 2003

byTracy Chevalier

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In seventeenth-century Delft, there's a strict social orderrich and poor, Catholic and Protestant, master and servantand all know their place. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of the painter Johannes Vermeer, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry, and the care of his six children. She even feels able to handle his shrewd mother-in-law; his restless, sensual wife; and their jealous servant. What no one expects is that Griet's quiet manner, quick perceptions, and fascination with her master's paintings will draw her inexorably into his world. Their growing intimacy sparks whispers; and when Vermeer paints her wearing his wife's pearl earrings, the gossip escalates into a full-blown scandal that irrevocably changes Griet's life.

Written with the precision and focus of an Old Master painting, Girl With a Pearl Earring is a vivid portrait of colorful seventeenth-century Delft, as well as the hauntingly poignant story of one young girl's rite of passage.

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In seventeenth-century Delft, there's a strict social order—rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant, master and servant—and all know their place. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of the painter Johannes Vermeer, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry, and the care of his six children. She even feels able to handle h...

"I was born and grew up in Washington, DC. After getting a BA in English from Oberlin College (Ohio), I moved to London, England in 1984. I intended to stay 6 months; I’m still here. "As a kid I’d often said I wanted to be a writer because I loved books and wanted to be associated with them. I wrote the odd story in high school, but i...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 7.86 × 5.12 × 0.65 inPublished:September 30, 2003Publisher:PlumeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0452284937

ISBN - 13:9780452284937

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In the morning he asked me to come up in the afternoon. I assumed he wanted me to work with the colors, that he was starting the concert painting. When I got to the studio he was not there. I went straight to the attic. The grinding table was clear—nothing had been laid out for me. I climbed back down the ladder, feeling foolish. He had come in and was standing in the studio, looking out a window. 'Take a seat, please, Griet,' he said, his back to me. I sat in the chair by the harpsichord. I did not touch it—I had never touched an instrument except to clean it. As I waited I studied the paintings he had hung on the back wall that would form part of the concert painting. There was a landscape on the left, and on the right a picture of three people—a woman playing a lute, wearing a dress that revealed much of her bosom, a gentleman with his arm around her, and an old woman. The man was buying the young woman's favors, the old woman reaching to take the coin he held out. Maria Thins owned the painting and had told me it was called The Procuress. 'Not that chair.' He had turned from the window. 'That is where van Ruijven's daughter sits.' Where I would have sat, I thought, if I were to be in the painting. He got another of the lion-head chairs and set it close to his easel but sideways so it faced the window. 'Sit here.' 'What do you want, sir' I asked, sitting. I was puzzled—we never sat together. I shivered, although I was not cold. 'Don't talk.' He opened a shutter so that the light fell directly on my face. 'Look out the window.' He sat down in his chair by the easel. I gazed at the New Church tower and swallowed. I could feel my jaw tightening and my eyes widening. 'Now look at me.' I turned my head and looked at him over my left shoulder. His eyes locked with mine. I could think of nothing except how their grey was like the inside of an oyster shell. He seemed to be waiting for something. My face began to strain with the fear that I was not giving him what he wanted. 'Griet,' he said softly. It was all he had to say. My eyes filled with tears I did not shed. I knew now. 'Yes. Don't move.' He was going to paint me.

Editorial Reviews

"A portrait of radiance...Chevalier brings the real artist Vermeer and a fictional muse to life in a jewel of a novel." —Time magazine "A vibrant, sumptuous novel...triumphant...a beautifully written tale that mirrors the elegance of the painting that inspired it." —The Wall Street Journal "The richest, most rewarding novel I have read this year." —The Cleveland Plain Dealer "Outstanding." —USA Today "Marvelously evocative." —The New York Times "Superb...vividly captures the world of 17th century Delft." —The San Francisco Chronicle "Tracy Chevalier has so vividly imagined the life of the painter and his subject that you say to yourself: This is the way it must have been." —The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "A jewel of a novel." —The Miami Herald