Reviews for Vermeer's Daughter
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Spring
Carelina Vermeer feels out of place in her large family. Not pious like her sister Elisabeth nor beautiful like Maria, Carelina deeply longs to be a painter like her father. Vermeer's sketchy known history makes for a heavily fictionalized story, but Carelina's voice nevertheless reads more like something from a textbook than a flesh-and-blood girl, as she holds forth on everything from art theories to religious conflicts. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 July #4
As in the adult novels Girl with a Pearl Earring and Girl in Hyacinth Blue, this less-focused work imagines the domestic and artistic life of the 17th-century painter Johannes Vermeer, this time through the perspective of a fictional daughter, Carelina. Shoup (Wish You Were Here) characterizes Carelina as "plain," a spinster-in-the-making who shares her father's passion for art. Readers may balk at the unequivocal assessment of this daughter's looks, especially given the glowing face in the painting on the jacket, billed in the text as the protagonist's portrait. A prologue, set 21 years after Vermeer's death, presents Carelina as she attends an auction of his work; the auction prompts memories of her childhood years when her father embarked on her training as a painter. Shoup contrasts Carelina's domestic drudgery under the rule of her domineering grandmother with the broader attractions of her father's world. "Often, he held forth on the properties of pigments, describing each one with such enthusiasm, making its history and character, its quirky and unpredictable behaviors seem as fascinating as those of a living person," reports Carelina. While she offers some insights into the painter, life in Delft and contemporary philosophies, the author fails to establish compelling connections between characters, and even the central relationship between Vermeer and Carelina lacks sufficient clarity and depth to sustain the audience's attention. Ages 10-14. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 September
Adult/High School-Readers of other novels about the famous painter will find the outline familiar. Vermeer and his ever-increasing family live in his mother-in-law's house in the Papist corner of Delft. Tanneke, the cook, prepares broodjes and hutsepot, and poses for her master. His patron, Van Ruijven, eagerly awaits each commissioned work. Verifiable information about the artist's home life is sketchy, so Shoup has fleshed it out into a warm, compelling story, creating a loving, but chaotic household for her narrator, a fictional middle daughter, Carelina. Aware of her stern grandmother's preference for her sisters, lovely Maria and pious Elizabeth, Carelina slips out of the house to visit her adored father in his studio. As she learns to grind pigments and peers through his magical camera obscura, she listens to him discussing philosophy and religion with the great men of his time. She puzzles over the ideas, but is more concerned with the people who make up her world. When she has a surprise encounter with an old friend of her father's, she discovers the artist within herself. In this book, the smells and tastes of delicious Dutch food, the bustle and excitement of the Grand Market Square, and the luminous glory of Vermeer's masterpieces are brought vividly to life.-Kathy Tewell, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2003 December
Shoup creates a fictional daughter, Carelina, for Dutch artist Jan Vermeer in this story set twenty-one years after his death. Plain, intelligent, and artistic Carelina watches her father's paintings auctioned and recalls the family and experiencethat his art reflects. Before she is ten years old, Shoup's fictional Carelina follows her adored father to his studio and promises to watch quietly. She learns to clean brushes, paints, and develops her own art. Growing up with an ever-pregnanmother; a dominating, cold grandmother; and prettier and more pious sisters, she vows to pursue a single life and her love of art. When Carelina is fourteen, Vermeer apprentices her to a famous female artist who is living in a loving relationshiwith another woman artist. Through them, she meets and marries a New World explorer, travels with him, and continues to paint. Unlike the portrayal of the artist's family in the more sophisticated Girl with a Pearl Earring (Dutton, 2000/VOYA August 2000), any conflict is quietly and smoothly managed by a strong, compassionate Vermeer. Here, the girl with the pearl earrinis Vermeer's vain, beautiful daughter, Maria, whom Carelina envies before discovering that her own talents and character are more valuable than physical appearance. Shoup's combination of historical detail and personal development will appeal tmiddle school and junior high Dear America series fans.-Lucy Schall 4Q 2P M J Copyright 2004 Voya Reviews.