Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Virgin Blue - Tracy Chevalier (4.8)

Oh dear it's been awhile! In my defense, I have actually managed to procure a job, which starts next week because I had a three day job planned for this week, and I had some auditions to prep for. The real reason behind the delay is that I just didn't have any books I felt like reading and preferred to watch Netflix. Instant watch is both a blessing and a curse to those with lots of time on their hands. Or those who don't have the self control to turn it off even though its past their bedtime.

Enough excuses. I loved this book. I thought I might, because I've liked Tracy in the past, but the premise reminded me of a favorite book from when I was 10 or 11, and I am a grown up now, so that was a turn-off. (If you don't know me, or tongue-in-cheek doesn't transfer over the internet: note that I still love Harry Potter and don't think I'm a pretentious snob, however much I wish I was.) Here is how the back starts, "Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin - two women born centuries apart, yet tied together by a haunting family legacy," ...snore? But then at the very bottom it says, "A beautifully crafted story shot with vivid colors," and the cover was so pretty that I just decided, "Why not? The library closes in 10 minutes and I have nothing else to read." Well, The Times (London) was right, it was beautiful, and I loved every page of it. Whoever wrote the blurb should re-write it.

Actually, I'm not sure I liked it as much when I first started reading it...but it gets good and it ends fabulously. It's one of those books that always makes me feel so connected to my fellow women. It has that feeling of the secret mystery of being a woman that I always love in a book. The Red Tent had a similar feeling, and so did The Color Purple. I loved those books too. You should read them. The Color Purple first, it was better. And shorter. But if you're a sucker for historical fiction, The Red Tent is super good.

The Virgin Blue is the third Tracy Chevalier I've read, and I think it's my favorite of them all, then The Lady and the Unicorn, and then Girl with a Pearl Earring. However, that is the order I read them, from most to least recent, so they very well may be equally good and I just like the most recent best. If you like Philippa Gregory, but a bit more poetic, less sexy, and without any (for this novel) historical fact, you'd definitely like this. Oh, and there's some magic. Sort of. And we all know I'm a sucker for all things magical.

In the CD player: Three Cups of Tea
Next to read: ....good question! Obviously I need to stop by the library again. I have another Margaret Atwood, but I'm feeling something different. Although I'd totally read The Red Queen if I can get it from the library.
Also awaiting others returning them to the library:  The Lost Symbol - it'll be my first Dan Brown since high school! I got a little too into him and read like...all of his books that were out right after The Da Vinci Code, and I felt like he was trying a little too hard to be Michael Crichton, so I stuck to the original.
Maybe I'll read the sequel to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I know I have that somewhere...

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