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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review - Tracy Chevalier's THE VIRGIN BLUE

This was my second book by this author and a delightful surprise! the story following two different time lines 500 years apart was wonderful - Isabelle married to Etienne a Hugenot is in a tight spot. A midwife, devoted to The Virgin and with red hair she is believed to be surreptitiously a witch who dabbles in herbals and potions. Fast forward to Ella Turner nee Tournier origins in the distant past to France who accompanies her architect husband whilst he works in France.

Ella has sudden deep disturbed feelings for this region in France and despite not being fluent in French at all, wakes up suddenly spouting psalms and making the sign of the cross (which she has never done in her life). Taken aback by these feelings Ella makes a determined effort to find out her roots and comes slap bang against very surprising ancestors.

The two lives are told side by side and there is no awkwardness or difficulty to remember which is which.

You know where you are going with this story from very early on. There are no surprises here, but you also know there is no happily ever afters either. Both Isabelle and Ella are not happily in love and there is no happily ever after for either of them. Bleak is Isabelle's future and Ella is more in control of her destiny, purely because of the present times.

Not a big book but one which was very nice to read and finish fast - and an author I am going back to for more.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I loved this story. Glad your computer is working again:)

Blodeuedd said...

It does sound interesting :)

Bellezza said...

I absolutely loved Chevalier's Girl With the Pearl Earring, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one, too! It's always wonderful when a favorite author returns with more good stuff. (How do they do that?!)

Bookventures said...

I am glad you enjoyed Virgin Blue. This was also my first taste of Chevalier's work and since then I have read all of her books. Now to get my hands on Remarkable Creature : )

Elizabeth said...


Need to put this book on my list.

THANKS for the great review.

I am stopping by from Cym Lowell's Book Party.


Swapna said...

I remember enjoying this book, but it's been so long that I don't remember much about it! Nice review.

Lisa said...

You know the author's written an wonderful book when you know where the book is going and you know it's not going to end well, but you keep reading.

debbie bailey said...

One of my favorite authors. I'm going to read this one again. It's been a while.