Thursday, February 19, 2004

I really tried not to compare Tracy Chevalier's The Virgin Blue to her Girl With A Pearl Earring, to give the former a fair chance, but now that I've seen the movie of the latter, this is a difficult thing to do. I'll have to read her third novel before I make a definite judgement of her writing, but I find it very hard to believe that The Virgin Blue came from the same author who produced the magic of Girl.

Chevalier's first novel has a complicated plot, with two stories from different eras weaving together, their heroines somehow mysteriously connected. It's a little too complicated. It's not quite a love story, nor yet a ghost story, nor yet a history, but rather hovers among the three without settling on one plot. The author didn't give herself enough leeway to tie up all the loose ends, so that there's much that is left unexplained, which, especially in such a story as this, is highly annoying. None of the characters were in any way likable, and most of them were particularly unpleasant. Worst of all, their cruel and immoral actions seemed to come out of nowhere--for the most part they were unexplained, random, and unresolved. I found it a disturbing book, and almost didn't finish it.

Later, on a positive note, I'll post about the lovely, lovely movie of Girl With A Pearl Earring...

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