In seventeenth-century Delft, there's a strict social order—rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant, master and servant—and all know their place. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of the painter Johannes Vermeer, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry, and the care of his six children. She even feels able to handle his shrewd mother-in-law; his restless, sensual wife; and their jealous servant. What no one expects is that Griet's quiet manner, quick perceptions, and fascination with her master's paintings will draw her inexorably into his world. Their growing intimacy sparks whispers; and when Vermeer paints her wearing his wife's pearl earrings, the gossip escalates into a full-blown scandal that irrevocably changes Griet's life.
Written with the precision and focus of an Old Master painting, Girl With a Pearl Earring is a vivid portrait of colorful seventeenth-century Delft, as well as the hauntingly poignant story of one young girl's rite of passage.
""A portrait of radiance...Chevalier brings the real artist Vermeer and a fictional muse to life in a jewel of a novel."" —Time magazine
""A vibrant, sumptuous novel...triumphant...a beautifully written tale that mirrors the elegance of the painting that inspired it."" —The Wall Street Journal
""The richest, most rewarding novel I have read this year."" —The Cleveland Plain Dealer
""Outstanding."" —USA Today
""Marvelously evocative."" —The New York Times
""Superb...vividly captures the world of 17th century Delft."" —The San Francisco Chronicle
""Tracy Chevalier has so vividly imagined the life of the painter and his subject that you say to yourself: This is the way it must have been."" —The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
""A jewel of a novel."" —The Miami Herald