NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


by Tracy Chevalier

"In 1664, sixteen-year-old Griet enters the Vermeer as a servant. Daughter of a Delft tile maker, she has a natural eye for color and design. As she cleans the master's studio, Griet learns how Vermeer sees the people he paints. And as his attention focuses on her, she realizes that she, too, is becoming one of his subjects." (From the CD container.)

This book is the story behind Vermeer's painting of the same title:

Girl with a Pearl Earring is a lusciously written book, but for some reason, it just didn't do it for me. I never really felt connected to any of the characters nor was I taken in by the storyline. I nonchalantly observed the goings-on like a television show that I didn't care about but was interested just enough to not make an effort to look for the remote so I could change the channel. Though I thought about it right about the scene where the ear-piercing serves as a not-so-subtle stand in for Griet's true desire. Maybe the book was more feminine than I generally like my reading to be. Maybe I'm just cranky. (Yes. I'm still pining for spring to actually get here.)

I'm probably in the minority on this one, and I would not hesitate for a moment to recommend this book to someone else. I also would definitely read another work by Tracy Chevalier in the future. My disinterest in this particular novel was most likely a mood thing. Watch how many great reviews I write when it's 75 degrees and sunny. Perhaps we'll find a correlation?

If anyone who really loved this book wrote a review, please let me know and I'll link it here. It deserves a fair shake!

Dog Ear Diary


Ana S. said...

This is one of my favourite books. Sorry it didn't work for you, Lezlie!

Lezlie said...

Nymeth ~ I can see why people would love it. I feel bad that it came at the wrong time for me. I totally plan to read another of hers when I'm not so crabby. :-)


Amanda said...

I pretty much felt the same way you did. Good but, eh.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Lezlie, on this one. I just couldn't understand all the hype about this book.

Serena said...

I have not read this book, but I hate when I feel like I am watching from the outside with no attachment to the characters and their ordeals.

Jo-Jo said...

I read this book a year or two ago and kind of felt the same way. I thought it was ok but definitely did not effect me the way it did other readers.

Lezlie said...

Amanda, Lynne & Jo-Jo ~ I feel better knowing it wasn't just me. Thanks!

Serena ~ It makes you feel kind of sad, doesn't it?


JoAnn said...

I liked this book, but didn't love it like other members of my book club. I enjoyed Falling Angels more.

Jeane said...

I really liked it. My review is here. I know what it's like to have a mood totally spoil a book, though- that's happened to me before. We have cold wind and rain, but definitely spring is coming!

zetor said...

Borrowed 'Lady and the unicorn' from library, it's the same author, but haven't got round to reading it yet.
I found the movie of Girl in pearl earring disappointing but haven't read the book.

bermudaonion said...

Sorry this didn't work for you.

Lezlie said...

JoAnn ~ Maybe I'll try that one when I read her again.

Jeane ~ Thanks! I'll get your review linked up. The temperature finally got up to 50 today and rumor has it there may be no lows below freezing the rest of the week. I sure would like to put away that parka! (It's been 25 or colder every morning!)

Zetor ~ I wonder if the movie parallels the book fairly closely. I'll be interested to see what you think of The Lady and the Unicorn. I had considered reading that one also.

Bermudaonion ~ Thanks. It happens sometimes, but I've been very lucky lately. Lots of good stuff!


Islandgirl Evy said...

Hi Lezlie,

I am not commenting on the book but I did want to tell you I gave you the sisterhood award. Come check it out:


Lezlie said...

Evy ~ Thank you!! I'm on my way there right now!


Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I have this one on the shelf but it hasn't really been screaming to me. Maybe I'll let it sit happily on the shelf for a little while longer. Hate that when you want to love a book and just can't...hope your next one is great!

Tasha said...

I have not read the book, but I thought the movie was painfully boring.

Marg said...

I read this back in my pre blogging days, or more precisely I should say I devoured it back then!

I actually picked it up with the intention of just reading a few pages to get the book started, and three hours later I was finished, without having put the book down!

I have read another couple of her books, but haven't had that same experience with her other books.

joanna said...

Oh I hate it when that happens! You can't enjoyt them all though Lezlie, not with the amount you read!

By the way, I've been telling everyone around me about your education mission and how totally inspirational you are! They're all really impressed! :-)

Lezlie said...

Trish ~ I'm in the middle of C.J. Sansom's Revelation right now, and it's great! Nothing like a Matthew Shardlake mystery to give myself a break!

Charley ~ I have to admit that after finishing the book, the idea of watching the movie held no appeal at all.

Marg ~ I'm so glad! That is such a great feeling. I can see why people would love it, it just wasn't my thing.

Joanna ~ Thanks, Joanna! Maybe we can start some kind of self-education movement! :-)


Ladytink_534 said...

Hate the feeling that mood may have affected one of my reviews :( I have yet to see this movie nor am I really in any hurry to read it so it might not be crankiness Lezlie!

Literary Feline said...

I am one of those who hasn't read this book. It really hasn't called to me, and so I haven't tried to get a copy. Maybe someday. I'm sorry you found it disappointing.

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ That's always the first thing I suspect when I'm not enjoying a book. I'm an easy-to-please reader, so I'm nearly always willing to blame it on me rather than the author.

Literary Feline ~ The only reason I picked it up was because I needed another audio book right away, it was available at the library, and it fit the Art History Challenge. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have chosen this particular one.


Bybee said...

I liked the book, but admit to rolling my eyes and saying "yeah, right" as Griet waits around for Vermeer to figure out what the painting really needs (the pearl earring). Sure.

Lezlie said...

Bybee ~ I second that. It did stretch the imagination a bit there. Good thing she was so smart! :-)


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Lezlie said...

Anonymous ~ Thank you so much! I hope you visit again soon!