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Summary

An international best seller with over two million copies sold, this is a story of an artist's desire for beauty and the ultimate corruption of innocence.

17th Century Holland. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of Johannes Vermeer in the town of Delft, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry and the care of his six children. But as she becomes part of his world and his work, their growing intimacy spreads tension and deception in the ordered household and, as the scandal seeps out, into the town beyond.

Tracy Chevalier's extraordinary historical novel on the corruption of innocence and the price of genius is a contemporary classic.

©2006 Tracy Chevalier (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Girl with a Pearl Earring

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love love love

Where does Girl with a Pearl Earring rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's in the top ten.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Girl with a Pearl Earring?

It was all memorable, I loved the pace and countenance

What does Hattie Morahan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She brings the story alive. Books that have a narrator really lend themselves well to the format.

Any additional comments?

I have seen the film and in comparison to the book It seems clumsy and misses the subtleties of the story. You realise that films flatten such stories as you can't know what people are thinking in the same way. The film misses so much of the point of the relationship that I could hardly bear to watch it.

13 people found this helpful

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Beautiful.

A picture paints a thousand words, isn't that how the saying goes? These words painted a picture for me. I loved it and it's a favourite listen if I need a little quiet time. Don't bother if you want action and adventure, do if you want to sink heart and soul into 17th Century Holland and follow one life through the streets, sights smells and all.

12 people found this helpful

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Loved this!

Loved everything about it. The setting, The gentleness of it. The sensitive narration. 5-stars.

4 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story, beautifully read

What made the experience of listening to Girl with a Pearl Earring the most enjoyable?

I particularly loved the slow-paced plot full of wonderful descriptions of Delft, of Vermeer's home and family, and of his paintings. There is also a gradual sexual tension between Griet and Vermeer which adds an interesting dimension to the story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I was fascinated by Maria Thins, who was Vermeer's mother-in-law. She seemed to know everything that went on in the house, and worked with Griet to help Vermeer complete his paintings.

Which character – as performed by Hattie Morahan – was your favourite?

Griet was my favourite character. She was beautifully portrayed by Hattie Morahan. Serious, quiet, yet passionate and bright, she is the most fully-developed character in the book.

Any additional comments?

This is a book I would read again - it is full of details of life in Delft at the time of Vermeer, and you almost feel as though you are in one of his paintings.

3 people found this helpful

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The Girl with a Pearl Earring

This book is described as a modern classic but I found that description to be totally overrated - it is a simple story of the way in which a principled working class girl is badly treated by the upper classes of the society she lived in. I feel signifiant sympathy for her but this is no classic.

1 person found this helpful

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The best audible book I have ever heard.

The narration was superb and I will be searching for more books narrated by Hattie Morahan. She brought the right tone of voice to the feelings expressed, they were not over done and the characters were just slightly inflected so you could distinguish between them not over the top as so many are want to do. This married perfectly with the books strengths which are a story of an always suppressed maid and the fear of family implosion. This is a story full of skillful observation with no need of gory, terror and psychological destruction as so many books are hinged on. A wonderful strong story narrated with perfection.

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I can't explain why but this is enchanting

Enchanting tale and good story line. This book gives you a sense of what it was like back in the seventeenth century for ordinary people, but with a good story line too.

1 person found this helpful

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Very enjoyable

Great background story to a famous painting. Beautifully read.
A thoroughly enjoyable listen on Audible.

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I have lost a friend

I enjoyed this so much that I limited how much I listened to it - I didn’t want it to run out. If I didn’t hear a sentence properly, I’d rewind it one minute, to hear it again, with full context and my full attention. I shall miss my time in Griet’s world.

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I found TC's detailed descriptions awesome.

The research was super and even if some of the facts are disputed, it was the second book I have enjoyed from this author.

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Profile Image for Suzanne Beacroft
  • Suzanne Beacroft
  • 24-09-19

Wonderful

Loved the story woven around Vermeer's famous painting. Great character development and gave a clear picture of the town in the 1600s. Can't wait to read another of her books.