When I told my other book loving friends that I was reading “Girl With A Pearl Earring” for the first time I received a lot of gaping mouths and wide eyes. Apparently, this book was required reading for most of my friends. Unfortunately, it was not at my high school, but it has been on my personal reading list for some time. Being a full time working mommy, and going to school full time has left me little time for recreational reading. I have four years worth of book hoarding to catch up on! So please, give me some slack for writing about a book most of you have probably already read.
For those of you who went to a high school like mine, and this was not on your reading list; this historical fiction novel tells the story of Vermeer, a Dutch artist and his most famous work. Griet is 16 when she goes to work for the Vermeer family. Griet can’t help but to be fascinated by her eccentric master, who adds to her infatuation by giving Griet special tasks and attentions. Griet also draws attention from the lecherous Van Rujiven and the butcher’s son Pieter. All of which, causes Vermeer’s wife to grow jealous of Griet. The last straw is when the mistress of the home discovers her husband is using Griet as his muse.
I related to Griet. Whether it’s 1665 or 2014, being a teenage girl is tough. Who hasn’t felt the pangs of puppy love with an older unattainable man? For me, Mr. Aerosmith, freshman civics (le sigh). Or who hasn’t had to dodge the unwanted advances of some creep who can’t take no for an answer? For me, more often than it should. Griet was just trying to find her way in a man’s world and got slightly burned, like we all have.