Books by Tracy Chevalier

A SINGLE THREAD by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 17, 2019

"A compelling portrait of women not lost but thriving against the odds."
It's been 14 years since the Great War ended, and Violet Speedwell is still grieving the loss of her brother and her fiance. A daring move—living on her own—will bring her a chance to breathe and love again. Read full book review >
NEW BOY by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2017

"This follow-the-plot-dots modernization unfortunately falls flat due to Chevalier's heavy-handedness in turning Othello into a polemic on the evils of American racism and her awkward shoehorning of tween angst into Shakespearian tragedy."
As her contribution to the Hogarth Shakespeare series of contemporary retellings of the Bard's works, Chevalier (At the Edge of the Orchard, 2016, etc.) turns Othello into the story of a disastrous chain of events that follows a black student's arrival at a white elementary school in suburban Washington, D.C. Read full book review >
READER, I MARRIED HIM by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 22, 2016

"A clever idea well-executed; a treat for fans of short fiction and for Brontë's many ardent fans."
The author of Remarkable Creatures (2010) and Burning Bright (2008) invites writers to turn one of the most famous lines in English literature into short fiction. Read full book review >
AT THE EDGE OF THE ORCHARD by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 15, 2016

"Nonfictional details bring the novel authenticity, often at the expense of character development or narrative cohesion."
Spanning 15 years and a journey from the Black Swamp of northeastern Ohio to California's redwood forests, Chevalier's (The Last Runaway, 2013, etc.) latest draws readers into the simple highs and the frequent lows of 19th-century pioneer life.Read full book review >
THE LAST RUNAWAY by Tracy Chevalier
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"Chevalier's grasp of history and nuanced detail is quite fine, but all of the blood and tears of the time are made polite and palatable, making quiet Honor's story a bit too quiet."
Chevalier's latest historical fiction, the first set in her native America, circa 1850, is a tepid portrait of an English Quaker thrown into the tumult of Ohio's Underground Railroad. Read full book review >
REMARKABLE CREATURES by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 5, 2010

"Shines a light on women usually excluded from history—and on the simple pleasures of friendship. "
More fact-based historical fiction from Chevalier (Burning Bright, 2007, etc.): the vivid, rewarding tale of 19th-century fossil hunter Mary Anning. Read full book review >
BURNING BRIGHT by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 20, 2007

"A story rich in background but lacking a compelling center."
A colorful historical novel considers the perils of life in 18th-century England. Read full book review >
THE LADY AND THE UNICORN by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

"Marvelously imagined and sharply constructed, with a good feel for the people and the era: a fascinating portrait of the intersection of life and art."
A delightful historical imagines the creation of the most famous medieval tapestries ever woven. Read full book review >
THE VIRGIN BLUE by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2003

"A modest work of some skill, told with a minimum of melodrama and some good local color."
A rich and quirky Chinese puzzle of sorts: a family saga turns into a mystery, then is finally revealed as a domestic drama about a young American living in France who finds her own life intersecting with the history of her ancestors in palpable and uncanny ways. Read full book review >
FALLING ANGELS by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 2001

"Chevalier offers pleasures enough, indeed, though on an outing taken countless times before."
Chevalier's enormous hit with Vermeer and the 17th century (Girl With a Pearl Earring, 2000) is followed by a novel so familiar—the forces of change at 19th- century's end put cracks in domestic life—that the hyperverisimilitude of its period-color seems almost done by number. Read full book review >
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2000

England-based Chevalier's first US appearance is another novel based on a painting of Vermeer (see Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue, p. 998). The tale this time is told—alluringly indeed—by the housemaid who sat as model for the painting in question. Griet is only 16, in 1664, when she's hired as a maid in the grand Delft household of Johannes Vermeer, who practices the Catholic faith and has a family consisting of wife, mother-in-law, cook, and 5 children (by story's end there will be 11). Griet's own faith is Protestant, and her humble family has been made even poorer since her father, a tile-painter, had an accident that left him blind. Hard-working and sweet-tempered Griet is taken on, then, partly as an act of charity, but the austere and famous painter is struck by her sensitive eye for color and balance, and after a time he asks her to grind paints for him in his attic studio—and perhaps begins falling in love with her, as she certainly does with him. Let there be no question, however, of anything remotely akin to declared romance, the maid's station being far, far below the eminent painter's, not to mention that his bitterly jealous wife Catharine remains sharply resentful of any least privilege extended to Griet—a complication that Vermeer resolves simply through intensified secrecy. There's a limit, though, to how much hiding can be done in a single house however large, and when Griet begins sitting for Vermeer (his patron, the lecherous Ruijven, who has eyes—and hands—for Griet, brings it about), suspicions rise. That's as nothing, though, to the storm that sweeps the house and all but brings about Griet's very ruin when Catharine discovers that the base-born maid has committed the thieving travesty of wearing her pearl earrings. Courageous Griet, though, proves herself a survivor in this tenderhearted and sharp-eyed ramble through daily life—and high art—in 17th-century Delft. Another small and Vermeer-inspired treasure. Read full book review >