Named a "Best Book of the Year" by Publishers Weekly, The Christian Science Monitor, and The San Francisco Chronicle
Synopses & Reviews
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. 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.
"Vreeland's wonderful second outing is a novel made of stories, each delving farther into the provenance of a Vermeer painting, and each capturing a moment of life, much as the great painter did himself....Extraordinarily skilled historical fiction: deft, perceptive, full of learning, deeply moving." Kirkus Reviews
"Reading Vreeland's new book is like opening up a Chinese box: each chapter reveals a new layer of meaning and import....True to the spirit of Vermeer, Vreeland uses art as a vehicle for capturing special moments in the lives of ordinary people; true, too, to Vermeer's legacy, she creates art that brings a unique pleasure into the lives of ordinary readers." Veronica Scrol, Booklist
"Intelligent, searching and unusual, the novel is filled with luminous moments; like the painting it describes so well, it has a way of lingering in the reader's mind." The New York Times Book Review
The ownership of a supposed Vermeer painting is traced back to the moment of its inspiration; and as the painting moves through each owner's hands, what was long hidden or forgotten or repressed quietly surfaces. Like Vermeer's paintings, this bestselling novel illuminates the poignantly dear moments in people's lives.
Girl in Hyacinth Blue, "the little gem of a novel [that is a] beautifully written exploration of the power of art" (Parade), is now a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Glenn Close and Ellen Burstyn.
About the Author
Susan Vreeland's is the bestselling author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue, The Passion of Artemisis, and ,i>The Forest Lover. Her short fiction has appeared in journals such as the Missouri Review, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, and Tri-Quarterly.