Girl in Hyacinth Blue

Girl in Hyacinth Blue

eBook - 2012
Average Rating:
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A Dutch painting of a young girl survives three and a half centuries through loss, flood, anonymity, theft, secrecy, even the Holocaust. This is the story of its owners whose lives are influenced by its beauty and mystery. Despite their unsatisfied longings, their own and others' flaws, the girl in hyacinth blue has the power to engender love in all its human variety. This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer--but why has he hidden this important work for so long? The reasons unfold in a series of events that trace the ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and still further back to the moment of the work's inspiration. As the painting moves through each owner's hands, what was long hidden quietly surfaces, illuminating poignant moments in multiple lives. Susan Vreeland's characters remind us, through their love of this mysterious painting, how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, what lasts and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.
Publisher: [United States] :, RosettaBooks :, 2012.
ISBN: 9780795323546
0795323549
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
data file, rda
Alternative Title: hoopla (Digital media service)

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s
Starpoem
Dec 03, 2016

* Although it's not science fiction, this collection of short stories gives the illusion of time travel. Each of the stories takes place during a different time period.

* The connection among all the stories is that the main character in each one owns the titular painting. I love books that are built around original concepts like this.

* Vreeland makes an interesting point about the subjectivity of art. Each of her characters interprets the facial expression of the girl in the painting in a different way. Then in the final story the reader finds out how the girl actually feels.

c
cdbeaubien
May 25, 2016

Interesting, well written,but not my favorite book. The chapter about the artist was the most interesting to me, and other chapters gave a glimpse of what life may have been like at the time. The book is several vignettes woven together-- no unifying theme.

e
empbee
Jul 03, 2013

Great enjoyment to read the stories behind the little picture of Vermeer. Quite innovative writing with great style.

r
Rietje
May 01, 2013

Enjoyed this little book. Not a big book and easy to read. Would like to read it again a some time

b
bbf62us
May 19, 2012

I found this book very hard to follow. Good book, but felt it left a lot of loose ends.

l
LDPBLM
Nov 14, 2011

Reading "Vermeer"by Anthony Bailey was essential to grasping this book, fully . Loved it ! The middle chapters were extraordinary !

fluffarama21 Dec 01, 2010

This book will be discussed on Sept. 21, 2011 at the Frisbie Senior Center.

r
ryner
Jul 07, 2008

Girl in Hyacinth Blue is a series of vignettes chronicling the reverse history of a fictional Vermeer painting of the same name. Vreeland's colorful portraits of Dutch life, from the wealthy to the poorest peasants, spanning several hundred years, are fascinating. I wouldn't have minded delving further into each of the tales, and the only other thing that could have improved the book was if the painting, which plays a silent, starring role in each of the stories, really existed.

GiHB was enjoyable, but was a small disappointment after Vreeland's breathtaking Luncheon of the Boating Party.

k
KarenW
Dec 20, 2001

Susan Vreeland has created a series of vignettes that reveal the history of a supposed Vermeer painting and the people who love it. Each chapter takes the reader one owner back until we find out if it really is a Vermeer and how it came to be. I was amazed at the simple descriptions and dreamlike quality that accompanies each chapter. The ending is marvelous. Vreeland herself becomes the artist as she reveals layer by layer the beauty of a painting and our fascination with art.

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