Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland: Book Review

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Girl in Hyacinth Blue Book Cover

5 Stars

Girl in Hyacinth Blue follows the path of a painting, possibly by Vermeer, from an aloof math professor backwards to the painter and the subject. Each owner has a different story to tell, and even a little bit of a different relationship to the painting, but they all love it and find echoes of something they feel inside themselves inside the painting. And isn’t that sort of the point of truly great art?

The novel itself has the feel of a short story collection. Each chapter is about a different owner and is a complete story unto itself. The novel never feels choppy though. But–the writing. Beautiful. It lived up to the painting that I painted inside my head. I truly saw the landscapes Susan Vreeland paints with her words and I truly felt involved with each character’s story.

If you love beautiful language, or you love beautiful art, read this book. It’s just gorgeous.

Reviewed December 19, 2007

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  1. This is definitely on my list of MUST read books. I have absolutely fallen in love with Susan Vreeland's writing style. I have read Luncheon of the Boating Party and Life Studies this summer and know that I will re-read them one day.

  2. This book has been on my wishlist for so long. I think I should buy it already. thank you for the review!
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  3. +JMJ+

    I didn't know about the "short story" structure of the chapters in the book. How appropriate, I think, for this sort of story.

  4. I read this something like five years ago and I still think back on it today. Lovely book and a lovely review!

  5. I have this book on my wishlist and I so love your positive review. I think I will just have to place this novel to the front of my wishlist. I really love to read novels takings place amidst art.

  6. I LOVED this book. It was a 5 star review for me, and I never read another book by this author since…weird huh?

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