Girl with a Pearl Earring

by Tracy Chevalier | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by KarinAlyssa on 6/19/2005
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22 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by KarinAlyssa on Sunday, June 19, 2005
I had two copies of that book as someone gave it to me at Christmas along with my secret santa.

I fell in love with this book. Vermeer is one of my favorite painters and I'd really like to read how Ms Chevalier saw the history of that famous painting. Her interpretation was realist, but her imagination was present. The servants' situation seemed well described and realist. However, as much as I love the story, the setting and the characters, I felt that the book lacked narrativity and I attribute that lack to the author's writing style that I didn't like that much. Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to anyone as it's really good.

Journal Entry 2 by KarinAlyssa at by Mail in BookRelay.Com, Bookrelay -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Released 15 yrs ago (8/10/2005 UTC) at by Mail in BookRelay.Com, Bookrelay -- Controlled Releases

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Going to FiBe. Enjoy !!!

Journal Entry 3 by FiBe from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Monday, August 29, 2005
Received with thanks KarinAlyssa. I have read this already :o

This is the second book I have now read by Tracy Chevalier and although I enjoyed it, I think I preferred The Lady and the Unicorn more.

Thanks to KarinAlyssa for sending it to me though!

Journal Entry 4 by FiBe at on Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Released 14 yrs ago (9/7/2005 UTC) at

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Anniversary RABCK sent to kizmiaz to celebrate my 1 year anniversary! Hope you enjoy the book!

Journal Entry 5 by kizmiaz from Belém , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Friday, September 09, 2005
Got it today, from an anniversary RABCK by FiBe, Thanks. Will read it and give it wings to procede on its journey.

Journal Entry 6 by kizmiaz from Belém , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I finally had time to read this one and enjoyed it. It's simple and a very light reading.
I enjoyed especially the descriptions of Vermeer's work and the way the light was always present to enhance one thing or another. I like some of Vermeer's paintings and what I read here sounded real.
Griet is quite a character and the author was carefull enough not to overexpose her.

Journal Entry 7 by kizmiaz from Belém , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Tuesday, November 29, 2005
This one is going to be a BookRay.

BRay rules:
- I think a month is time enough for you to read this book if you think you won't make it no problem, just let me know so I can post a little warning to the following BC'er, it's all a matter of courtesy;
- Please do not forget to make a JE when you get it and when you send it on to the next, that way we'll all know where the book is;
- There is no limit to people on this BRay, the more the merrier;
- The last person on the BRay is free to do with the book as he pleases, you might even want to help it continuing its journey.

- Sent out to Frangipani04 today (05.12.2005)

Who's in:

- Frangipani04 (Portugal)
- bookmanu (Portugal)
- oliveoyle (UK)
- TheWhiteLion (UK)
- tabbystripes (UK)
- kalistina (France)
- katyan (Finland)
- pulcherrima (Denmark)
- wyldanthem (USA)
- aussie-rose (Australia)
- cat207 - (Australia)
- Sugaryfun (Australia)
- playtheman (Australia)
- hshah (India)
- silvia-pco (Portugal)<-- It's here
- whiskeyjane (USA)

Journal Entry 8 by Frangipani04 on Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Received yesterday by mail! It was a really fast journey. I'll start reading it in a couple of days, after I finish another bookring.

Obrigada kizmiaz!

16/12 - I'm going to start reading it today!

Journal Entry 9 by Frangipani04 on Monday, December 26, 2005
Great book! I read it slowly because I didn't want it to come to an end... I'm usually a fast reader, but this book deserved being read slowly, with time to think of all the details of the plot, of the paintings, of the historical setting,... I found it extremely well written. In fact, I've already ordered some other books from Tracy Chevalier.
It was one of the best books I've read this year. Hope you all like it the same way!

Thank you for sharing it, kizmiaz! The book will be sent out to bookmanu as soon as I get his/hers address.

30/12 - sent today to bookmanu.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Journal Entry 10 by bookmanu from Cascais, Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Wednesday, January 11, 2006
It's in my hands - safe and sound! It was waiting for me in my post box when I arrived home from holiday on Sunday (08 Jan). Thanks Frangipani04 for mailing it and kizmiaz for setting up the bookray. Apologies to all for only journalling today.

I'm looking forward to reading this book, it's been on my 'wishlist' for ages.

Journal Entry 11 by bookmanu from Cascais, Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Great book! Thanks again for starting the bookray kizmiaz.

I enjoyed reading about Griet and how she came to be painted by Vermeer. Looking forward to reading more books by Tracy Chevalier.

Posted off to Oliveoyle today.


Journal Entry 12 by oliveoyle from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, February 05, 2006
Thanks bookmanu - this one arrived for me on Friday. I'm just finishing another book at the moment but after that I'll get straight on to this one. Can't wait to get started!

Journal Entry 13 by oliveoyle from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, February 23, 2006
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I expected to, though I'm not sure why. The story was good, I liked the descriptive writing style, and I was keen to find out what was going to happen to Griet and Vermeer. But I still felt curiously seperated from it all. I just didn't feel involved with the book's goings on.

But thank you for the chance to read this, kizmiaz, and for organising the bookring. Much apprecited!

I'm PMing TheWhiteLion and will pop it in the post as soon as I've got their address.

Journal Entry 14 by oliveoyle from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, February 24, 2006
Winging it's way to TheWhiteLion

Journal Entry 15 by TheWhiteLion from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, February 25, 2006
Just received the book. Have read a couple of pages out of curiosity, and so far so good.

Journal Entry 16 by TheWhiteLion from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, March 03, 2006

What a stunning book!

I really enjoyed reading the book. The book drew to me to Vermeer's paintings as Griet sees them come to life. Before even finishing the book, I was looking up Vermeer's works on the internet and trying to see them through her eyes. This book will definitely go on my Recommended Reading list!

Have lent the book to a friend for a quick read (in the hope that she'll join bookcrossing as well). Will mail it off to tabbystripes in the next couple of days.

Journal Entry 17 by tabbystripes on Friday, March 17, 2006
Received safe and sound. I plan to start reading this tonight so hopefully it'll be back on its travels again very soon.

Journal Entry 18 by tabbystripes on Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I enjoyed this book very much, especially all the beautiful descriptions, so as soon as I'd finished reading it I went straight out and bought the movie. Big mistake. Talk about a disappointment. I should have spent the money on another Tracy Chevalier book instead!

Journal Entry 19 by kalistina from Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur France on Saturday, May 20, 2006
I received it a few minutes ago. Thank you Tabystrippes and Kizmiaz :)

Journal Entry 20 by kalistina from Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur France on Saturday, June 03, 2006
It was a great pleasure to read this novel. As I am in France, I almost never read English books, so it took me a long time to finish this one. But I really enjoyed it, I loved discovering Griet's everyday life, her troubles with the wives of Vermeer's home, her relationship with the painter, with her parents, with Pieter the son... I enjoyed it as well for the knowing of a particular epoch as for the character herself.
It was my first novel of Tracy Chevalier and I'm pleased I'm in for another ring, "the lady and the unicorn".
Sorry for my english, I hope the following readers will enjoy it like I did.
Thank you Kizmiaz for this ray :))

Journal Entry 21 by kalistina from Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur France on Monday, June 05, 2006
Posted today (30/06/06) to Katyan :) Lesehest told me she'd be back on 15. August.

Journal Entry 22 by katyan from Detroit, Michigan USA on Sunday, July 09, 2006
This book was waiting for me with some lovely sweets & postcard when I came home from Australia. Thank you so much! It was really a sweet return back home! I'll be travelling the next two weeks too, but I hope to find some time to read this book soon.

Journal Entry 23 by katyan from Detroit, Michigan USA on Saturday, August 12, 2006
I've had a little bit hard time in my life recently, so I couldn't really concentrate on reading that much. So I had to give up some books, including this one. But the happy thing was that this book cost me a tremendous mentos-addiction, as kalistina send me some mentos whit it, and after I was just eating and eating them all the summer...:)
I wish a happy bookring for the next readers, I'll send the book to pulcherrima on Monday. (Lesehest wanted to skip).

Journal Entry 24 by pulcherrima from Aarhus N, Århus Amt Denmark on Thursday, August 17, 2006
This book was just lying there waiting for me when I returned home from a very looong school day. I’ really looking forward to reading it, and like all of your JEs – and thank you for the chocolate katyan!
Unfortunately I'm very busy at the moment, but I will put it on top of my TBR list!

Journal Entry 25 by pulcherrima from Aarhus N, Århus Amt Denmark on Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I've just finished reading this book, and I really loved it.
I think it is a great idea to write a book based on your interpretation of a painting, and I'm sure that I will think of Griet whenever I see any of Vermeer's paintings, because her story is so touching.

I've alread contacted wyldanthem, and the book will be shipped to the US immediately.

Released 13 yrs ago (8/31/2006 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Journal Entry 27 by wyldanthem from Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, September 25, 2006
Hooray! The book arrived safely this afternoon -- thanks, pulcherrima! And thank you for the lovely postcard, too! I'll get started as soon as I finish my current book. :)

Journal Entry 28 by wyldanthem from Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, October 18, 2006
On a recent trip to London, I spent a lot of time in art museums -- the National Gallery, the Tate Britain, the Tate Modern -- and often found myself wondering what led the artist to paint what appeared on the canvas. Often, as is the case with Vermeer, the artist simply painted whatever his patron wished. But even then, I wondered why and for how much.

Tracy Chevalier answered my curiosity with Girl With a Pearl Earring, and it makes me wish I knew more fictional books based on paintings. This is only the second Chevalier novel I've read, but I can say without a doubt that this one is WORLDS better than Falling Angels. The characters are much more interesting, their situations much more complicated, and their interactions much more entertaining. No one is perfect, except on Vermeer's canvas, and though a fairy-tale-like happily ever after isn't acheived, neither does the cast meet with a pitiful end. Some are definitely left better off than others, but such is life.

One thing is for sure: I'll never be able to look at the painting Girl With a Pearl Earring without being reminded of the clever Griet, vicious little Cordelia, and the capable Maria Thins. Because Chevalier's way with words is just as masterful as Vermeer's way with colors.

The only books I give a 10-star rating are those that become part of my permanent collection -- and a new copy of this one is already sitting on my shelf. So thanks, kizmiaz, for organizing this 'ray!

Journal Entry 29 by wyldanthem from Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA on Friday, November 03, 2006
As of last week, this book is on its way to Australia for Aussie-rose to enjoy!

Journal Entry 30 by aussie-rose from Keith, South Australia Australia on Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Wow that was quick! Book has arrived. I have one other book ring in front of this book but will get to it ASAP!!! :-)

Journal Entry 31 by aussie-rose from Keith, South Australia Australia on Thursday, November 16, 2006
What an interesting story! I saw the movie last year and usually I don't like reading the book after having watched the movie, but in this case it helped provide a rich background of images to help put things in context as I read. I've just spent an enjoyable hour on the internet researching Vermeer's paintings and trying to see them through Griet's eyes. I loved the actual storyline of this book as well as the way it educated me further in the techniques of the master painters. Thanks for sharing it with me!

I'll be mailing this off to cat207 this afternoon! :-)

Journal Entry 32 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Arrived in today's mail. Thanks aussie-rose. And thanks kizmiaz for sharing.

Journal Entry 33 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Friday, November 24, 2006
I really enjoyed this book, but had trouble finding it on my shelf. I would like to see the title changed to the correct 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' so it's in its rightful spot!

I have PMed Sugaryfun for an address.

Journal Entry 34 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Monday, November 27, 2006
Mailed to Sugaryfun today.

Journal Entry 35 by Sugaryfun from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Just a quick note to say that the book arrived safely yesterday. Thanks Cat207, and also Kizmiaz for sharing it.

Journal Entry 36 by Sugaryfun from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Sunday, December 17, 2006
I'm sorry, but I decided I wouldn't have time to read this one (I knew this would be a busy time of year, but I didn't expect to be quite *this* busy) so I sent it on to Playtheman today.

Journal Entry 37 by playtheman from Rangeville, Queensland Australia on Sunday, December 24, 2006
Thanks Sugaryfun! What a Christmas surprise!!

Journal Entry 38 by playtheman from Rangeville, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I needed to turn to the last page! This is very unusual for me & a complement to the author.
It is always interesting to read of a great artist/musician/writer/sportsman and this makes the uncomfortable life story of VandeMeer worth reading. However it isn't a book that I would wish to return to.

Journal Entry 39 by hshah from Mumbai, Maharashtra India on Monday, June 25, 2007
I think i received this book quite while go. Am a little behind schedule for the BCing activities am going to send the book forward to silvia-pco (Portugal)as soon as i receive her address.

PMing silvia-pco.

Journal Entry 40 by hshah at International Post in Mumbai, Maharashtra India on Monday, July 30, 2007

Released 13 yrs ago (7/30/2007 UTC) at International Post in Mumbai, Maharashtra India

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The Book is on its way to silvia-pco in Portugal. Didnt manage time to read it, hope to read it in the future.
thanks for sharing

Registered Post No.: AIR-RPKT-A 1197

Journal Entry 41 by silvia-pco from Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Arrived! Thanks!

13thNovember - Sorry for keeping this one for such a long amount of time. I hope to pass it one before the end of this month.

4th January - I'm almost done with this one!

Journal Entry 42 by silvia-pco from Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I finally finished this one! First of all, I'm really sorry for the delay.

I just loved it. I has been in my wishlist for ages and it was definitely worth the wait. The story itself is very simple, but the descriptions are great and the plot fantastic. And Griet, as kizmiaz said, is quite a character.

Thanks a lot for sharing. Will be mailed out to fungaga in no time.

18thJanuary - fungaga and LESEHEST asked to be skipped. I'm waiting for whiskeyjane's answer.

Journal Entry 43 by silvia-pco from Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Wednesday, February 06, 2008
As no one else is able to get the book at the moment, I'll let this book continue his journey by re-opening the bookray. fungaga and LESEHEST will be added at the end of the list.

Who's in:

01. aneca (Portugal)
02. ZAS (UK)
03. justmesam (Holand)
04.
05. fungaga (Portugal)
06. LESEHEST

Journal Entry 44 by aneca on Tuesday, June 24, 2008
It just arrived! Thank you!


Journal Entry 45 by aneca on Monday, January 12, 2009
Girl With a Pearl Earring is one of those books that have been so talked about in a positive way that when the opportunity arised to read it I couldn't help myself.

I do feel that Chevalier is very good at conveying the right atmosphere for her novels. This is the second one I read and in both of them there's an artistic atmosphere, if you can call it that, and a great concern with describing not only the works of art involved but also the materials and techniques the characters use.

In this story about one of Johannes Vermeer’s most famous paintings, Griet a sixteen year girl is led by the impoverishment of her family to seek employment with Vermeer's family. Griet is an uncommonly sensitive girl who orders vegetables according to size and colour. That attracts Vermeer’s attention and soon she becomes not only the house maid but is assistant in manufacturing the colours he uses. In a society with rigid rules separating religious beliefs and society divisions between people, this transformation of Griet's duties is well hidden from Vermeer's wife, requested by the painter and abetted by his mother in law. Vermeer's demands on Griet won’t stop there as he decides to make her a model for one of his paintings thus making her position in the house even more secretive and fragile.

The atmosphere is indeed everything in this novel where no one comes across as very sympathetic, Vermeer lost in his genius, Griet confused and unsettled by her feelings and the other members of the household more devoted to their own interests. As the action draws to a close it seems obvious that Griet's time with Vermeer would be finished as soon as is painting was. His interest in her as a subject ends when he reaches perfection even if that causes her to lose her job and almost her respectability.

I must confess that although I can see what makes so many love this book that sentiment eluded me somehow. I can see its merits, I'm glad I read it but that's it. Maybe I'm just not a very visual sort of person because I did love the movie where I could actually see the colours and understand them.

Grade: 4/5


sent to fungaga on Jan 12 2009 as previous members did not respond to PMs

Journal Entry 46 by fungaga from Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The fist time I heard abou BC was on a TV show, where they made an interview to three portugueses bookcrossers (nninoca, Sossap and Cokas). I was fascinated by the idea. During the interview, Cokas held the book "Girl with a pearl earring" and said that it was one of the best books she read through BC. Three years later, I remeberer that when I signed up for this ring. Thank you for the ring, I hope I'll enjoy the book as much I enjoyd the film!

Journal Entry 47 by fungaga from Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Friday, March 20, 2009
I found this book a very, very beautiful one. The story and the characters really involved and fascinated me. I'm sure it will be on my top 5 this year. Thank you all for giving me this opportunity. Now I really must see the film again...

Journal Entry 48 by fungaga from Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Monday, March 23, 2009
O reviwed the film last weekend and I must say that I couldn't urdestand most of the details the first time, debause I haven't read the book before. It is one of those cases when film and book complete one another and they are both extremely beautiful. I must mention the frozen clothes in the film - a detail that is much more interesting when you can visualize it.

Lesehest has the book already. That means I'm the last one. I will release the book - at the Portuguese Convention or the Lisbon Book Fair, still haven't decide.

Journal Entry 49 by fungaga at Feira do Livro in Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (5/2/2009 UTC) at Feira do Livro in Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal

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This book will be released at the LEM (Lisboa Encruzilhada da Mundos) pavillion at the Lisbon book fair 2009.

The release will be made in memory of our beloved Snowshoee, that left us this year and has a bookplate mentioning it (in portuguese).

Journal Entry 50 by Lem-Lisboa from Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Thursday, May 07, 2009
este livro encontra-se disponivel na feira do livre de lisboa no pavilhão da lem.

Journal Entry 51 by Lem-Lisboa at Feira do Livro in Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Thursday, May 07, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (5/7/2009 UTC) at Feira do Livro in Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal

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To be released at Bookcrossing/LEM - Lisboa Encruzilhada de Mundos stand in Lisbon's Bookfair (April 30th - May 17th)

Journal Entry 52 by Huntgodess from Barreiro, Setúbal Portugal on Friday, May 08, 2009
I brought this book yesterday from The LEM tent at the Lisbon Book Fair.
I had taken a few books to release there, that a friend had asked me, ncluding a copy of "Girl with a pearl earring".
When I was leaving I commented with syrin that I was finding hard to leave the book, because I'm curious to read it, but I have so many books in my TBR pile that I didn't want more. So I brought the book, thinking that it was the one that I had left there earlier. Now I find out it's a different copy of the book...

It will take me a little time to start reading it, but I'll get to it.

Journal Entry 53 by Huntgodess at Barreiro, -- Por correio / mão própria -- Portugal on Saturday, January 08, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (1/8/2011 UTC) at Barreiro, -- Por correio / mão própria -- Portugal

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This book was sitting in my to read pile for too long.
Today my brother's friends from Russia offered me a nice book from Murakami, so I decided to ask them to help this book to travel to Russia.

I hope they enjoy it.

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