What I’m Reading: Girl in Hyacinth Blue

I just finished up reading the book Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland.  I had a long list of books on my waiting list but none were here so I had to hunt for a book.  I typed in WWII books and this one came up on my online library.  It looked worthy of a try.

I ended up finding the book very interesting.  Many times in my life I have bought an antique and wished the antique could tell it’s story.  Where did it originate?  Whose hands had touched it?  I especially thought of that while we worked on our house.  I remember finding old wallpaper under something.  I couldn’t help but wonder who put it up.  What did it look like?  Our house had a couple additions on it too.  I’ve always wondered what was put on first.  Long ago the house had two staircases.  I wondered if the family had a servant.  In the attic I also found papers from someone who lived here who received government assistance.  I wondered about their life as well and what brought them to this house.  In one spot a mom had measured their children and put marks on the wall.  I so wished that our house could tell me it’s story.

The author of this book uses that premise.  There is a painting that was done long ago.  In short stories the history of the painting is told.  Each story has it’s own reader.  Each story is connected but could easily be a stand alone piece.  I haven’t read books of that format before so that was interesting.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer—but why has he hidden this important work for so long? The reasons unfold in a series of events that trace the ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and still further back to the moment of the work’s inspiration. As the painting moves through each owner’s hands, what was long hidden quietly surfaces, illuminating poignant moments in multiple lives. Susan Vreeland’s characters remind us, through their love of this mysterious painting, how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, what lasts and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.”

Amazon readers say 4 stars.  I’d agree.  I really liked the book but would have preferred to see the characters actually interact with the previous owner a little more…all in all a good book for those who might also wish their “antique” could talk and tell a story.

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