Okay, maybe 1.5 stars isfair Anyway, this book annoyed the heck out of me This is my third Chevalier novel also read Girl w a Pearl Earring and The Lady and the Unicorn and enjoyed the first two this is her first novel and I think it shows There are 2 main characters in this book both women, but living centuries apart Ella, the present day character, is an American ex pat living in France with her husband, and Isabelle is her distant ancestor living in France during the time of the Huguenots My main problem with the novel is that Ella is just plain annoying selfish, self centered and self absorbed I m supposed to sympathize with her because oh how women have suffered at the hands of men including Isabelle, mostly b c she had the misfortune of being born with red hair and having a fascination for the Virgin Mary in Protestant France but that s another long story But boy, does she make it hard.In the end, I finished the novel b c I was curious about what happened to Isabelle So obviously this book wasn t bad enough to stop reading altogether but also not good enough to recommend to anyone. I picked it up and a day and a half later, I set it down At first, I wasn t sure what I was getting myself into, but 20 pages in and I was completely hooked Since I haven t read anything else by Tracy Chevallier, I wasn t sure I would enjoy her writing I was happy to discover she has a natural knack for character development, I found her to be a very honest author, unafraid to describe what we are really feeling inside Exposing the vulnerability of human nature with her intertwining stories of love, hate, religion, persecution, adultery and redemption.The pace of the novel starts off a little slowly, there is a lot to get through to grasp all the characters and their roles Halfway muddling through the French dialog was a little difficult at first, but well worth the effort And as the story progressed, becameintense and began revealing the secrets shared by the two main characters, the chapters became shorter and shorter, the structure of the chapters began to change, which increased the pace set early on My only wish is that there had beenfollow through with a few revelations that Ella our main character from the modern age discovered about her ancestors specifically the painter Nicolas TournierWho was this cat after all Tracy never says for sure And I wish there had beenbetween Ella and Susanne her cousin from Switzerland they shared the family secret but their relationship ended too quickly for me And later with Ella and Elizabeth her cousin from France They shared a kindred spirit, but Tracy left me desiringof the relationships Ella s feelings toward Elizabeth were contradictory with the way the story ended At first she doesn t know if she wants to relate to her, but in the end she s spending quality time with Elizabeth but no reconsiliation has been made for her original emotions regarding Elizabeth and the Tournier family history Also, there was no explanation as to who s teeth they discovered under the chimney at La Baume du Monsieur, Tracy discusses it briefly in regards to Hannah the grandmother from the 1500 s and her belief that the home is safe, the hearth will protect us , it was a little confusing because it was never fully explained And lastly, did they burry Marie near Deborah She wanted to see her again Did she finally rest near her The only reason I can criticize these things is because I enjoyed the book so much, I wish there had beento it I was left wanting Is there any better compliment to an author Meet Ella Turner And Isabelle Du Moulin Two Women Born Centuries Apart, Yet Bound By A Fateful Family Legacy When Ella And Her Husband Move To A Small Town In France, Ella Hopes To Brush Up On Her French, Qualify To Practice As A Midwife, And Start A Family Of Her Own Village Life Turns Out To Be Less Idyllic Than She Expected, However, And A Peculiar Dream Of The Color Blue Propels Her On A Quest To Uncover Her Family S French Ancestry As The Novel Unfolds Alternating Between Ella S Story And That Of Isabelle Du Moulin Four Hundred Years Earlier A Common Thread Emerges That Unexpectedly Links The Two Women Part Detective Story, Part Historical Fiction, The Virgin Blue Is A Novel Of Passion And Intrigue That Compels Readers To The Very Last Page Apparently, this was Tracy Chevalier s first novel, quite different from most of her other ones I have read two other novels by this author, Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Lady and the Unicorn , and have enjoyed both very much This author has a style that appeals to me, simple and straightfoward but with a beauty of its own in the way she captures the characters that compose her stories.Although I liked The Virgin Blue , reading it in two days, I ended up fairly confused as to what had happened and why in some particular occasions I couldn t understand the character s motivations, perhaps because I did not fully compreend the historical background in which part of it took place and what beliefs the people held I was lost, at times, not understanding why some people reacted or acted the way they did and though some things are explained, many other questions were left unanswered in my mind In fact, the ending was somewhat abrupt, at least where the past is concerned, as well as some of the relationships portrayed, which I thought moved too fast. 4.5 starsThis book gets a pretty easy 4.5 stars from me I m a sucker for a good historical fiction with a female character researching her connection to her family s past, which is the basic sum of the plot That said, this book had a lot going for it aside from my natural affinity for the plot line.I will admit that a lot of my historical fiction reading has been by certain authors and set in certain areas, which may make the booknovel to me than to awidely read historical fiction fan, but the setting and historical backdrops were both somewhat unfamiliar to me I ve read books set in or around Paris, but not in the French countryside, as this is I thought she did a nice job of painting a picture of what life might be like for an American woman moving to a small town in France Picturesque and lovely, but also judgmental and nosy I guess the judgmental and nosy part is universal in small towns The other main setting of the book is the mountains of Switzerland, which was also new to me.I was wholly unfamiliar with the persecution of the Huguenots by the Catholics in that time and place, aside from having heard of St Bartholowmew s Massacre in passing The book really fed my nerdy side with the historical references and explanations given on a subject I knew little about and took an immediate interest in.Trying to put aside my bias towards these sorts of books, I still feel it was a very strong story There was good pacing with new story lines developing through the whole book, leading up to what I found to be rather a surprise ending I thought the writing was very good and was descriptive without being over the top My overall opinion of this book is that it would be a good choice for someone thinking of dipping a toe into the historical fiction genre I feel like it has a faster pace and less background historical information than some I have read, which I take away.5 star for, but would make it a good foray into the genre for someone new to historical fiction. No no no.Ma che sta roba Dove la mia Chevalier Stavolta tutto bocciato L Alternarsi di passato e presente mi ha infastidito appena mi interessavo a quello che stava accadendo cambiavano i soggetti Capitoli lunghissimi pieni di tizie incinte, con i capelli rossi ed i vestiti azzurri Una sorta di indagine fatta alla cavolo con fortunate scoperte di Bibbie mezze bruciate recanti alberi genealogici della protagonista Personaggi scialbi, poco interessanti, poco socievoli con il lettore Collegamenti tra passato e presente veramente fatui Scene inutili di protagoniste americane poco accattivanti che bighellonano per cittadine francesi e attirano la maldicenza della gente perch Americans Parti di frasi in francese perch fa chic Storie di corna a gogo Cenni storici buttati a caso Violenza gratuit nei confronti di donne e bambini nei capitoli del passato Di solito non mi danno fastidio cos tanto, ma qui la narrazione cos veloce che l iterazione di determinati temi urticante Violenza gratuita, proprio Mancanza di pathos e intrattenimento nella narrazione Dove sei, ChevalierSpero solo che questo sia l unico libro brutto scritto da questa autrice che non mi ha mai deluso fino ad adesso.Libro letto per la All Over The World BookChallenge , paese Francia Definitely not as good as Girl with a Pearl Earring I was really enjoying the first two thirds of the book, but I didn t like the direction it took after that There are two parallel stories happening and the modern one is less believable than the one that takes places four hundred years ago I liked the character Isabelle from the 1500 s much better than Ella from modern day I ll still readby Chevalier She has a nice style of writing that totally sucks me in. Surprisingly, this was somewhat a book about a mystery, but it did get me thinking quite a bit, particularly about memories and how they are stored in the brain Because one of the two main characters develops memories from her distant relative distant being 400ish years ago , I started to wonder about memories and if we will ever figure out a way to harvest and save memories to be viewed when host is no longer with us It seems crazy, but maybe at one time, it seemed crazy to think we could hear a voice or see a picture of someone long after they were gone The story itself was very good, and I enjoyed the language the author used, her use of imagery and the way she described Ella s and Isabelle s feelings What I did not appreciate was the way the book ended I understand the agenda of an author to leave the reader to make up some bit of their own when tying up loose ends, but I think this author left too much to the imagination I wanted to knowabout what happens to Ella and what happened to Isabelle But, I loved the history behind this story, I loved the use of the French language which was awesome since I was listening to it in my car on the way to my class in Gorham , and I really loved this author s style of writing. Meni li no je ovo najdra a Trejsina knjiga Ina e nisam naro iti ljubitelj njenih romana I was incredibly disappointed in this book I had read Girl With a Pearl Earring and been very impressed, so I picked up this one expecting something as good Well, maybe not AS good, since The Virgin Blue was her first book and I was prepared to give her some wriggle room for growth and learning and so on.Let me say that I think the book s premise is very strong, and I really loved the flashbacks to Isabella In my opinion, these segments were strong and interesting and well written.Where the book fell down was with Ella, the modern voice I hated her character I found her whiny and self absorbed and I simply did not understand her motivations for the affair The breakdown in the relationship with her husband simply did not get conveyed nearly enough, and I ended up feeling badly for Rick instead of seeing Ella s side Truthfully, she had no side Another thing that annoyed me was Ella s supposed fluency in French achieved in just a month I speak French, and there is no way that anyone would be able to argue about Vietnam and feminism and politics within a month of lessons Come on Really Finally, the ending What a let down I hated the way that the past and the present melded together It was meant to be dramatic, but it made me roll my eyes No suspense for me, no aha moment, nothing Just a sense of relief that it was over at last On the whole, I d rate this as the poorest book that I have read by an otherwise quite remarkable author.
Born 19 October 1962 in Washington, DC Youngest of 3 children Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.Childhood Nerdy Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading Favorite authors back then Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander Book I would have taken to a desert island Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery.Educa
- 320 pages
- The Virgin Blue
- Tracy Chevalier
- 16 February 2019 Tracy Chevalier