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Girl in Hyacinth Blue | [Susan Vreeland]

Girl in Hyacinth Blue

A professor shows a colleague 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 stories that trace ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and still further back to the moment of the work's inspiration.
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Publisher's Summary

A professor shows a colleague 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 stories that trace 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 human lives.

Vreeland's characters remind us, through their love of the mysterious painting, how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, what lasts, and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.

©1999 Susan Vreeland; (P)2001 Highbridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Intelligent, searching, and unusual...filled with luminous moments...it has a way of lingering in the reader's mind." (The New York Times Book Review)
"One of the best books of the year." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (85 )
5 star
 (24)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.6 (27 )
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Story
3.9 (27 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sybil Charlottesville, VA, USA 04-07-03
    Sybil Charlottesville, VA, USA 04-07-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "wonderful"

    Thought that this was very well done and the readers were excellent. Great story very engaging

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darlene M. Formanek monroe, ME, United States 08-11-13
    Darlene M. Formanek monroe, ME, United States 08-11-13 Member Since 2012

    I am really not in to romance.. I like historic writing the are fiction but follow closely to historic time lines.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    20
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    "dull"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    I read the book but found it dull.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    no not at all wish i had skipped it


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    not at all confusing and left hanging in many places


    Do you have any additional comments?

    i would not recommed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hh pdx United States 04-26-12
    hh pdx United States 04-26-12 Listener Since 2003

    hh01

    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
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    117
    24
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    5
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    "You are there"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a terrific book. I usually transfer 3-4 audiobooks to CD yearly for a listen down the road and this made the grade. It is quite simply, enthralling in its ability to communicate feeling, content and style as only a studied pro in the arms of a loving muse could do. I took time off from grad school to learn Dutch and travel through the Lowlands viewing Flemish art. This book is the closest thing I know to any device that can effectively give one the feeling I got during that wonderful period. It captures mood exquisitely. It transports one back in time as great lit should. The pacing, the words chosen, the phrasing -- all of it, subtle, yet powerfully effective. It doesn???t scream ???look how wonderfully I???ve done this,??? but it does. If this is new terrain for you, it may take awhile to ???get there.??? Given that ???there??? doesn???t exist anymore, it is worth the effort at 10x the price.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Cayce, SC, USA 03-16-05
    Stephanie Cayce, SC, USA 03-16-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    168
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    568
    59
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    3
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    Overall
    "History of a painting"

    This story could have been much better if just one story had been focused on. I understand completely that this isn't about any of the mini-stories, really... it is about the painting and the people who owned it and their own little sagas surrounding the painting. I felt that the very last story, about the actual girl in the painting, should have somehow been longer or more explicit. Each story wasn't long enough for the reader to get a real grasp of the characters and their lives or to really begin to care about them before being whisked off to another story. The exception was the story of the mother who takes in the baby and painting. If all of the stories had been like this, I would have enjoyed it a great deal more.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Chandler, AZ, USA 11-21-09
    Melinda Chandler, AZ, USA 11-21-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    150
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    "NOT FOR KIDS OR YOUNG ADULTS!!!"

    This book is listed in the Audible kids section, so you can imagine my shock when two of the short stories included very graphic, adult sex scenes, one very short but one that is long and detailed. This is completely inappropriate for kids and for any adult who is not interested in reading or listening to such things (one would assume a children's/young adult novel would be free from such things). I'm extremely disappointed that this author felt it necessary to include such a thing in a book about a painting. I will never read another work by Susan Vreeland. And I'm disappointed that Audible chose to list this in the Audible kids section. I would have hoped that they would choose to use a bit more discretion.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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