Tracy Chevalier was born in October 1962 and grew up in Washington, DC. Currently, she lives in London, England with her husband and son. After she received her graduate in creative writing, she realized that she loves writing and wants to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a full-time author.
One of the lifetime goals was to see all 36 paintings of Vermeer. Her inspiration for this book was from Vermeer's painting: "Girl with a Pearl Earring." As she woke up one day in her bed, she was looking for an idea for a storyline for a novel. There, when she looked up at the ceiling, she saw the poster of the painting and wondered how and why Vermeer created that expression for that girl. This novel is based on the painting and how it came to be.
The book is about a sixteen-year old, innocent girl, by the name of Griet, who became a maid in the house of the famous painter, Johannes Vermeer. After her father was blinded by an accident, she had no other choice but to support her family on her own. Entering a Catholic family on the other side of the city became very difficult. Griet was only allowed to see her parents once a week and must follow all the rules in the Vermeer's house. This story is revealed and unfolds as Griet grows up and changes through her experiences as a maid.
Set in the seventeenth century in Holland, the novel is historical-fiction as well as coming-of-age. The novel has been divided in 3 sections by years: 1964, 1966, and 1976. In the year, 1964, Griet was sixteen when she became a maid. In 1966, it has been two years since she struggled through her mistakes and obstacles as a maid, and learned many meanings about art. She is officially an adult now, she turns eighteen. The story skips to ten years later, in 1976, when Chevalier lets the reader know about Griet's present life and how her past had forever changed her.
My favourite character is Griet because she is not only a...