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An international bestseller with over two million copies sold, this is a story of an artist’s desire for beauty and the ultimate corruption of innocence.

17th Century Holland. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of Johannes Vermeer in the town of Delft, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry and the care of his six children. But as she becomes part of his world and his work, their growing intimacy spreads tension and deception in the ordered household and, as the scandal seeps out, into the town beyond.

Tracy Chevalier’s extraordinary historical novel on the corruption of innocence and the price of genius is a contemporary classic perfect for fans of Sarah Dunant and Philippa Gregory.

Published: HarperCollins UK on Apr 17, 2009
ISBN: 9780007324361
List price: $7.06
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Interesting exercise of the imagination. Well done.read more
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Young maiden is forced into service by family hardships where she learns about art and love.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is quite a lovely book, thoughtful and cautious, and it does not take the easy way out of its plot — I was impressed by the author's restraint. If you enjoy historical fiction and a character-driven read, you'll probably like this one.read more
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Reviews

Interesting exercise of the imagination. Well done.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Young maiden is forced into service by family hardships where she learns about art and love.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is quite a lovely book, thoughtful and cautious, and it does not take the easy way out of its plot — I was impressed by the author's restraint. If you enjoy historical fiction and a character-driven read, you'll probably like this one.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I enjoyed reading this book. Having grown up with an artist in the house, my mother, I felt that the author captured the feeling of the medium well. I always think of my mothers colours, though she did not have to make her own paint, watching her mix them together to make new colours and being mesmorized by them. The smell of linseed oil still stays with me as a fond memory of growing up.The greatest achievement of the novel in my opinion was the authors ability to explain how to see art. This is one of the most difficult things to explain.I enjoyed this glimpse into that time and the story itself was interesting but I felt that the author didn't define the characters well enough and they didn't speak enough to really get to know them.I also don't see how the model felt that the master was interested in her, I guess it was simply a childish imagination. There was nothing to indicate that he was, in fact he seemed rather distant in my opinion. I suppose this is to indicate to readers how the model sees the artist, as someone who is seeing them so intently that they *want* them but this is false. The artist wants to take the essence of the image and recreate that feeling on canvas, but not to possess the actual image.A very enjoyable read
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I'm not sure what I think of this book. It was not what I expected. It does not fit in any of my mental categories of good books or of bad books. I was compelled to keep reading, so I'm pretty sure that for the most part I liked the protagonist and was intrigued by her position in the Vermeer house. Yet I did not like the circumstances she fell into, nor could necessarily endorse her decisions in dealing with those situations (I'm thinking of Pieter, her parents, van Ruijven, the master). Maybe what is disconcerting to me is the depth that seems to be in the character Griet, but so much of it only scratches the surface, and though we have her thoughts, we do not have them all. Maybe because she does not know them all herself. Some are felt, not articulated.
Unusual, but worth reading.
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Well written and engaging. Very nice indeed.
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