Critic’s Corner: Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

June Jordet

News Editor

3.5 out of 5 stars

Set in seventeenth century Holland, this novel tells the fictional story of Griet, a young girl who is hired as a maid for a wealthy family and becomes the inspiration for the famous painting by Vermeer. The author, Tracy Chevalier, focuses on the theme based on social class divides and women’s rights as members of the household, or lack there of; Griet has no choice in working for Vermeer’s wife, who often treats her with no respect, because the responsibility of feeding her family rests on her. But Griet finds a sliver of joy in living with this family, and that joy is found in none only than Vermeer himself. As time passes, the painter begins to ask Griet for assistance in his projects, and their unique bond grows into something that cannot quite be explained. Chevalier has written a wonderful historical novel that entices the reader with Griet’s inspiring persistence and how she unknowingly captivates Vermeer with her innocent beauty. While the author possibly should have expanded on the ending to clarify a few details, this book is still definitely worth reading.