Book Reivew: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

January 15, 2013

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier is a historical fiction novel taking place in 17th Century Holland. The book has fascinating descriptions of the times, how people lived and behaved.

  • 256 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Deluxe edition (August 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452287022


Book Reivew Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

My rating for Girl with a Pearl Earring3

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 More Books by Tracy Chevalier

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (website | Facebook | @Tracy_Chevalier)was neither here nor there.

The story seems like an episode of the old British drama “Upstairs Downstairs” set in Holland with a coming of age story neatly tucked in it as well. The plot is somewhat interesting with one well developed character (Griet) and none others I cared about.

The book is written very well but nothing happens and for awhile I was actually bored. Some of the characters are well developed but I was hoping for Johannes Vermeer’s character to  be more in depth. To my disappoint Vermeer played a minor (yet important) part in the book.

However, the descriptions of 17th Century Holland, the class system and mercantile society were excellent, which by itself was worth finishing the book. The descriptions of how the paintings were painted were amusing as well and since I had the “Deluxe Edition” with 9 full color paintings I could flip back and forth, reading the descriptions and seeing what they pertained to.

I can certainly see why many people loved this book, it is classical, dramatic and a pleasure to read because (not despite) the slow pace. Technically, this is an excellent book and I can’t wait to read more of  Ms. Chevalier’s work.

A young woman named Griet arrives at Vermeer’s house to be a new servant. She had some tragedy in her family and so ended up a maid. As she gets to be part of the family, Vermeer allows her to help him, due to her artistic eye. Eventually she poses for the famous “girl with a pearl earring” painting, which ends up being her undoing.

Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format*

More Books by Tracy Chevalier


Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got bought this book.
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  • Sharon Henning January 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Interesting that you reviewed this book. I just read last night an article on the writer. I was wondering if the book was any good.
    I know what you mean about a book being well-written but not interesting. I’m reading a book on writing. The points are excellent but his examples don’t intrigue me at all.
    Thanks for an even review.

    • Zohar - Man of la Book January 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      What a coincidence, I’m looking forward to hear what you thought of any of Ms. Chevalier’s works.

  • techeditor January 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I read this book a few years ago. I believe it was overhyped, so I expected more. It bored me. You say it bored you at first, but it bored me throughout.

    I did not write a review of this after I read it. But I gave it only two stars on

  • Michelle @ The True Book Addict January 16, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Great objective review. I’m glad you ended up liking it. I really loved it when I read it. It has been years and I can’t believe I still haven’t read any of her other books, even though I own them all. :/ Maybe I’ll pick one up this year.

  • Alyce January 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I know I’d definitely have to be in a thoughtful and patient mood to read this one. I caught part of the movie on TV once and didn’t have time to sit down and watch the whole thing. It looked good though.

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