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Girl with a Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier

Published: 2001-01-01
Paperback : 240 pages
18 members reading this now
42 clubs reading this now
23 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
The New York Times bestselling novel by the author of A Single Thread and At the Edge of the Orchard

Translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film, starring Scarlett Johanson and Colin Firth

Tracy Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this ...

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Chevalier transports readers to a bygone time and place in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings. "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is the story of 16-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius, even as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil. The runaway New York Times bestseller with over one million copies sold—soon to be a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth.

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Discussion Questions

Questions from the Publisher's Reading Guide:
1. Do you think Griet was typical of other girls her age? In what ways? How did she differ? Did you find her compassionate or selfish? Giving or judgmental?

2. In many ways, the primary relationship in this novel appears to be between Griet and Vermeer. Do you think this is true? How do you feel about Vermeer's relationship with his wife? How does that come into play?

3. Peering into 17th century Delft shows a small, self-sufficient city. Where do you think the many-pointed star at the city's center pointed toward? What was happening elsewhere at that time?

4. Discuss the ways religion affected Griet's relationship with Vermeer. His wife? Maria Thins?

5. Maria Thins obviously understood Vermeer's art more than his wife did. Why do you think this was the case? Do you think she shared Griet's talents?

6. Do you think Griet made the right choice when she married the butcher's son? Did she have other options?

7. How is Delft different to or similar to your town or city? Are the social structures comparable?

8. Though Girl with a Pearl Earring appears to be about one man and woman, there are several relationships at work. Which is the most difficult relationship? Which is the most promising?

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Member Reviews

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by Heather S. (see profile) 02/19/22

by Heather J. (see profile) 07/31/20

by Gail C. (see profile) 11/11/19

by Karen C. (see profile) 05/18/19

by Bea S. (see profile) 01/03/19

by Roos V. (see profile) 11/14/18

by Brenda B. (see profile) 01/27/16

  "Immaginative historical novel"by ellen t. (see profile) 08/01/07

Our book club found this a relatively enjoyable read, howver, it was not all that interesting or enjoyable to discuss.

  "Excellent book."by Jenn L. (see profile) 07/11/07

I read this a few years ago, and it was very good.

  "Story of the artist and a housemaid who learnd to help him make and store the paints, but helps him 'see' to make his paintings better."by Mary M. (see profile) 03/27/07

This is a brilliant story of people who are soul mates and those around them who do not; indeed; cannot understand them.

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