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Publisher's 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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  • Overall
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Delightful

I really enjoyed this. Like A Single Thread, it was beautifully and emphatically written. A slow, character driven novel, this was well researched and and delightfully pulled together. The narrator - Hattie Morahan - was wonderful. I'm not usually a fan of 'art fiction', but this pulled me close and kept me engaged throughout. I've now read two of Tracy Chevalier's books and I'm looking forward to number three.

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A lovely gentle story

Hattie Morahan made this a very pleasing experience with her lovely English and gentle voice. I enjoyed the story and the painting references and aspects of history. I'm not sure its even based on truth but listening while looking at the painting referred to in the title, makes it quite special. I'll check for further titles by the same author and narrator. Thank you.

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Intriguing story

A fascinating story about the artist Vermeer and how it came about that he painted the masterpiece of the girl with the petal earring. I loved every minute.

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Beautifully weaved story

It is always one of my favorite book, and the narrator made it even more vivid and touching. I like how the narrator changed her tone when different characters speak.
If you have no knowledge about Vermeer, Renaissance or the classic painting, you might think it is just another normal bitter love story. However, if you do, you will find it is very beautifully weaved into the painting and the time. It creates a tone, which is clam and romantic with a trace of melancholy.
I have to say Peter is actually my favorite character, he is smart, kind, handsome, hardworking and caring to young heroine, even sometimes she is very childish and annoying.
I strongly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction or arts.

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Disappointed

I looked forward to this being a great story rich in history. However if failed all round. The story was weak. The interesting times and the potential for creating more detail was missing as far as the famous and subsequent characters were concerned. Could have been great but was lacking.

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  • Suzanne Beacroft
  • 24-09-2019

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.

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  • Andy
  • 01-12-2013

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.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracy
  • 07-04-2013

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-10-2013

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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  • JackyHobson
  • 27-04-2020

Loved this!

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

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  • Mary Dewar
  • 14-02-2021

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tim Belcher
  • 15-03-2021

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.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-03-2021

Nice but too simple.

I had high hopes for this book given the great reviews. The narrater had a soothing voice which made listening a relaxing experience, the story was very well written and the characters were complex and layered but overall the story was far too simple for my taste. I kept hoping for the pace to pick up but in the end I just wanted to get through it so I could move onto something else. If you like a few twists and turns, this probably isn't the book for you.

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  • hyunkyung
  • 07-03-2021

Fully enjoyed

Never thought it could be read as it should be. Simple, calm but full of sympathy. Loved both the narration and the story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-02-2021

Loved this book

I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book as it’s not the sort of thing I would normally pick up. However I have to say that I absolutely loved it and was gripped by it straight away. I’d highly recommend it.

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  • JB
  • 15-02-2021

Very enjoyable

Loved this book, very enjoyable and the narration was excellent. I shall look forward to hearing more readings from Hattie Morahan.

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