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Publisher's Summary

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 end.
© 2002 Tracy Chevalier; (P) 2003 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"...a triumph. Excellent." (Time Out)
" deserves an award." (The Independent)
"...beautifully crafted...shot with vivid colors." (The Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Beth
  • San Diego, CA, USA
  • 10-02-03

excellent listening, mediocre story

The setting is France, and the listening was greatly enhanced by the beautiful French accents of the readers of this novel. However, this is a slow-moving story. I love historical fiction, and the older story was much more interesting than the contemporary one. I found myself slogging through those sections and not liking the character nor the reader's petulant-sounding voice. I was impatient for the end, despite interesting plot twists along the way. Chevalier's other novels are far better than this one.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Most enjoyable

for me this was was hard to put down or turn off as the case may be.
At first I wasn't sure of the connection between Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin but the more I listened the more interested I became and the more I wanted to hear. I read 2 books by this author and have REALLY enjoyed both. I would strongly recommend The Virgin Blue and and The Girl With The Pearl Earring. I plan to listen to or read more of Tracy C.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Virgin Blue

Awful, Disappointing compared to her other novels. Ella's character is unsympathetic to say the least and it is understandable why the French villagers don't like her. The narrator makes her horrid character unbearable. I found my self skipping over her parts because Isabel's story is far more interesting and could have stood alone with out Ella's. I don't like to waste money and usually finish any audio book but this one was not worth it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Virgin Blaw

The Virgin Blue was torture to get through. Ella Turner was a very dislikable character, made even more so by the narrator. I could not stand to listen to her voice. I did like the Isabelle character and her narrator. I would have preferred to have read an entire book about her and to have dumped that irritating Ella entirely. I felt the book was way too contrived...if this had been my first Tracy Chevalier book to read, I might not have read any others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barbara
  • Marietta, GA, United States
  • 07-22-05

Intriguing and so-slightly mystical

This story has a delicate charm which reflects its spiritual essence. While it doesn't wallow in religion and symbolism, it does pay homage to both Catholic idolatry and the Protestant Reformation, as well as the deeper, earthier nature-worship which has inspired women since before time. As ever with Ms. Chevalier, the settings, both present-day and centuries past, are scrupulously researched and painlessly recreated. Ella may not be the most sympathetic character in fiction, and Isabelle's history will pain and appall modern American women, but these are realistic people who conduct themselves in believeable fashion. I would still say that this book is unmistakeably "women's fiction", but don't misunderstand me; it is a very superior novel.

Tracy Chevalier is the able successor to Margaret Atwood. "Virgin Blue" lacks some of the humor of "Fallen Angels", perhaps, but the narrative is brilliantly wrought. And the two women responsible for reading the Audible version of this complicated story are absolutely without equals, and couldn't have done a more superb job.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good r read bad ending

I enjoyed the book all the way up to the. Yep. That was what it was like

  • Overall

The Virgin Blue

Girl With A Pearl Earring and Remarkable Creatures were wonderful books. The Virgin Blue was painful to listen to. Characters and narrator were equally awful.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Tifton, GA, United States
  • 04-07-09

Loved it!

I loved listening to this book. It would have been difficult to read it (for me) because of the french, but listening to it was like music. This is my favorite Chevalier book so far. I enjoy her descriptive story-telling, makes you feel like you're right there with the characters.

  • Overall
  • Carole
  • 04-28-08

More please

I have read all her books, and this like the others was just a brilliant. Every one is worth a read. This particular book I just did not want to finish. Please Ms. Chavalier write another soon!
I came across her quite by accident and if anyone knows another author that it like her - I would love to know.

  • Overall
  • C
  • Ventura, CA, USA
  • 08-23-06

Time-spanning mystery

I like all of Chevalier's novels, and this one was no exception. Her style of telling the story from different points of view keeps things moving without being too confusing.