Nov 4, 2012

Review: Girl With a Pearl Earring

Girl With a Pearl Earring
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Only a diamond cuts another diamond, so says a proverb. Could this be said of arts too?" was the first thought that flashed my mind when I saw the title "Girl with a pearl earring" from the fiction rack at Poudre River Public Library.

I do not often venture into a new reading from an author whose work I had never read or heard before. But my insatiable quest that was lingering in my mind made me decide to borrow the book.

Even before I started to read the first page from the book, a chain of thoughts about who could the girl be flew through my head. From the abstract of the book I imagined the girl to be a princess from a rich kingdom. "Is pearl a symbol of richness?", I questioned my own thoughts. A princess could have worn a gold or diamond earring!

A look at the front cover which has a portrait of the girl with a pearl earring said she could not be a princess, but an ordinary girl just like the ones we come across daily at any place. Only that she looked different in the eyes of an artist who had decided to paint her.

The novel is a blend of fiction with real facts; artist Vermeer is real and so is the painting Girl with a pearl earring by him. The story is about a girl who became a maid owing to family circumstances and how she became the source of inspiration for the artist, or so I thought until I read through near end of the book. Though the complete story is narrated from the maid's perspective, it is a story of an artist who is caught between love of his profession and family's responsibility and his struggles in balancing the two.

I am not sure if I would read more of Tracy Chevalier's works, but the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is a book which I would not hesitate to recommend.