They drape themselves across chairs and sofas and beds — any available horizontal surface will do, in a pinch — and they allow a novel to carry them so effortlessly from one place to another that for a time they truly don’t care about anything else.
I had almost forgotten what that felt like. I rediscovered that feeling over Christmas thanks to Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.
A fictionalized account of the origins of the Vermeer painting by same name, Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a sixteen year old Dutch girl who comes to be in the employ of the Vermeer household. Throughout her employ, young Griet becomes ever increasingly captivated (and swept up in) Vermeer’s paintings and artistic process.
It is a gorgeous book with prose that borders on sumptuous. Weeks later, I can still perfectly envision the landmarks and rooms Griet moved though. I stayed up until two AM – though considerably tired – because I could not bear to set the book aside.
As young Griet was swept up in her master’s paintings, I was swept up in this wonderful book. My only regret is that I did not read it sooner.