Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Art

Notes: Apparently this is a movie starring Scarlett Johansson.  This book did not make me want to see the movie at all. 

Review: Mehhhhhhhh.  This book sucked.  I think I would have liked it when I was like 14, but now I demand more plot.  More character development.  More reasons why characters act the way they do.  I hated the main character, Griet.  She was annoying.  And didn’t seem to have any motivating factors for acting the way she does, other than being a lovestruck teenager.  Boo.

Regardless of how I felt about this book, I finished it in two days, so that must say something about the narrative.  I have no qualms about quitting a book in the middle, and I actually finished Girl with a Pearl Earring so it must not have sucked so bad.  Or maybe it was that I barely left my couch Sunday afternoon due to a monster hangover.

In this book, Griet, the main character, leaves her family’s home and work for a Catholic family in the same city.  Her father lost his eyes in an accident at the ceramic tile factory where he worked, and he can no longer support his family.  Griet picks up the slack and moves out.  The family she works for is the family of a painter, Vermeer, who paints portraits of women and sells them.  His most famous painting, Girl With a Pearl Earring, is apparently Griet.  Shock and awe.  Not enough to base an entire book off of.

Okay, that’s a lie.  Books have been based off less.  But this book needed more pizzazz.  Chevalier created some tension between Vermeer (who she falls in love with but can’t do anything because he’s married with like 11 children) and Pieter, the son of a butcher who wants to marry Griet.  And Griet is a total douche to Pieter because she keeps holding out hope Vermeer will fall for her or something. I’m never quite sure what Griet wants because if Vermeer ever tried anything with her, she would probably run away anyway. What do you want?!

This book seems very well researched and I could picture The Netherlands/Holland very easily.  I don’t know how historically accurate it was, but it seemed correct.  I could picture the markets and the canals and every day life in that time.

Bottom Line: Skip it.  This book didn’t have enough drive to keep it interesting.  I do love historical fiction and young adult fiction, but I still expect them to be well-written.

 

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