Sep 26, 2013

Review: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

The novel narrates the story of a young girl named Griet, who is forced to work as a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer, after the work accident her father was into, which left him blind and consequently unemployed.

Griet, as a maid tried to be a discrete presence in the household, but she had big wide eyes that were hard to be left unnoticed. Even though she did not like the attention drawn to herself by others and minded her own business, as time went by, her intimacy with her master and his work caused tension in the household. While reading I felt sorry for her at times because she had very little control over her life.

Johannes Vermeer, the painter, was married to Catharina and was a father of 4 at the time Griet went to work for him. He didn’t participate in the upbringing of his children or in anything of importance inside the house. He did a little painting, which led his family to money issues, and with its members growing each year so did their needs. He was an idefferent person though sometimes I got angry with him for not fighting for his choices or his wants.

Catharina was the painter’s wife. A woman whose main part in the household was to give birth to more and more children and rise a bigger money problem to the family, because more mouths needed to be fed after each birth. From day one she disliked and disapproved of Griet and treated her badly. She is, by far, my least favorite character and kept getting on my nerves a lot during the book. She was the typical housewife, settled for a lifetime in misery.

Tanneke, was the other maid who worked there for many years before Griet’s arrival. She envied Griet and was a huge gossip.

Maria Thins, was Catharina’s mother and the house mistress. She was the one person that Tanneke was very loyal to and thought highly of. Also, in my opinion, she was the most fair and rationale of them all.

Many others were involed in the story and made it interesting and scandalous. In a few words the book, was very well written and the author is truly talented. The plot is unfolding slowing and though at times it may get boring, it still finds its way to intrigue you and keep you interested. Nonetheless, I find it a classic one and a pleasant novel to keep you company on your free time.


  1. I enjoyed this book giving it a 4* review. Have you read any others by this author?

    1. It was good but some parts bored me. I haven't read any other books by Tracy Chevalier.

  2. I've been quite curious about this novel, since there was the movie made based on it, but I'm not sure if I'll like it.
    Great review!