Excerpt from Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Girl With A Pearl Earring

by Tracy Chevalier

Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier X
Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 1999, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2000, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

In the morning he asked me to come up in the afternoon. I assumed he wanted me to work with the colors, that he was starting the concert painting. When I got to the studio he was not there. I went straight to the attic. The grinding table was clear--nothing had been laid out for me. I climbed back down the ladder, feeling foolish.

He had come in and was standing in the studio, looking out a window.

"Take a seat, please, Griet," he said, his back to me.

I sat in the chair by the harpsichord. I did not touch it--I had never touched an instrument except to clean it. As I waited I studied the paintings he had hung on the back wall that would form part of the concert painting. There was a landscape on the left, and on the right a picture of three people--a woman playing a lute, wearing a dress that revealed much of her bosom, a gentleman with his arm around her, and an old woman. The man was buying the young woman's favors, the old woman reaching to take the coin he held out. Maria Thins owned the painting and had told me it was called The Procuress.

"Not that chair." He had turned from the window. "That is where van Ruijven's daughter sits."

Where I would have sat, I thought, if I were to be in the painting.

He got another of the lion-head chairs and set it close to his easel but sideways so it faced the window. "Sit here."

"What do you want, sir?" I asked, sitting. I was puzzled--we never sat together. I shivered, although I was not cold.

"Don't talk." He opened a shutter so that the light fell directly on my face. "Look out the window." He sat down in his chair by the easel.

I gazed at the New Church tower and swallowed. I could feel my jaw tightening and my eyes widening.

"Now look at me."

I turned my head and looked at him over my left shoulder.

His eyes locked with mine. I could think of nothing except how their grey was like the inside of an oyster shell.

He seemed to be waiting for something. My face began to strain with the fear that I was not giving him what he wanted.

"Griet," he said softly. It was all he had to say. My eyes filled with tears I did not shed. I knew now.

"Yes. Don't move."

He was going to paint me.

  • 1

Reprinted from Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier by permission of Dutton, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 2000 by Tracy Chevalier. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Treeborne
    Treeborne
    by Caleb Johnson
    The Treeborne family has lived on The Seven – the local sobriquet for a seven-acre stretch of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.