Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Speaking of books that have been made into movies...
I read Girl With a Pearl Earring recently, by Tracy Chevalier, and really enjoyed it. I wanted to read it because I had seen and loved the movie with Colin Firth (yum!) and Scarlett Johannson.
The book is about a middle class Dutch girl in the late 1600s who has to take a job as a maid because her family has fallen on hard times. She is hired to clean the studio of the famous painter Vermeer, and they share a certain fascination for one another. It's sort of a coming of age story as she learns what is important to her as well as what is possible for her in the society she lives in.
I really enjoyed getting more insight into the main character, which was possible because the whole story is told from her point of view. Naturally, many aspects of the story were developed in more detail than in the movie; however, it was gratifying to know that the movie had remained true to the spirit of the book. Both versions of the story give insight into gender and class restrictions, while also delving into ideas about art and religion. Fascinating and melancholy.