Liked It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“This book reminded me a little bit of Anya Seton's Green Darkness. Ella, an American woman, goes to France with her husband and tries to uncover her family's ancestry. She begins having dreams of a vivid blue and a psalm. The book parallels the story of Isabelle du Moulin, who has married into...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“This is one novel that, in my estimation, did not live up to the hype.
“I didn't read "The Girl With The Pearl Earring" because "The Virgin Blue" was such a wonderful reading experience I didn't want the former to ruin the latter.”Valerie Pratt wrote this review Saturday, September 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The history parts are better.”laura maile wrote this review Monday, August 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Chevalier is one of those authors that I always intended to read again. I really enjoyed The Girl with the Pearl Earring and several of the book groups at my library have picked books by her to discuss. I just never got back to her. Fortunately, my friend brought this book with her on vacation and handed it to me when she was done.
To start, I thought Chevalier's book about Vermeer was her first and secondly I thought all of her novels were based on historical characters. This novel is based on history, but the characters were all imaginary. Two pleasant surprises and I hadn't even begun reading.
As I have said in my reviews before, I like learning about new worlds and ideas while I read. I also like meeting characters who would be interesting to meet in real life. Chevalier gave me all these things in The Virgin Blue. I knew very little about the Huguenots and rural France before I started this novel. I don't know much more, but I am a bit more knowledgeable about that religion than I was.
Also I am very grateful to have met Isabelle and Ella. They are both wonderful, strong, independent women and I would be happy to sit down with them and just talk. Chevalier does a good job of telling both their tales without making their link to each other totally impossible. I did have to suspend some of my rationality, but it was easy to do.
If you like historical fiction, exploring family ties, interesting characters, or happy endings - this is the novel for you.
“Very interesting, loved the discriptions of the different regions. Good story.”Judy A wrote this review Saturday, May 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
This is the amazing story of two women: Ella Tournier and Isabelle Tournier - separated by 400 years - who lived and dreamed in blue....
The book starts with a dream of blue that Ella has as she moves to Toulouse, France with her husband, Rick - present time. They move to a small suburb, Lisle-Sur-Tarn, where she's scrutinized and rejected by the town's folk for being an American.
She then decides to look up her family roots and discovers that she has ancestors that lived in France and were persecuted by the Catholics - therefore they escaped to Switzerland.
The author then starts to tell the story of Isabelle du Moulin, who marries Etienne Tournier on May 28, 1563, pregnant with her first child, Jean. She is abused by her husband: first raped and then ostracized, because she has red hair - thus her nickname of La Rousse - and worships the Virgin. The Tourniers are Calvinists and hate the Catholics. Unfortunately, they end up being persecuted by the Catholics therefore they are forced to escape to Switzerland.
As Isabelle's story unfolds, we learn that in her research, Ella meets Jean Paul, a librarian in Lisle who helps her with her research. Together they uncover the Bible that the Tourniers owned with the statistics of Isabelle's family. Elle falls for Jean Paul, and, after sleeping with him, Elle escapes to Switzerland - to visit her cousin Jacob Tournier.
There she continues to dream the story of her ancestor: Isabelle buys a blue tunic from a merchant and her friend, Pascalle, makes a dress for her youngest child, Marie. Unsbeknown to Isabelle, the Tourniers are supersticious about their homes and like to have a fireplace in their home where they bury a young virgin under their chimney to protect the house from evil. Marie is sacrificede and buried alive in front of Isabelle.
Back In Switzerland, Elle finds the Tournier residence in Moutier, Switzerland and, guided by her dreams, she discovers the remains of her ancestor, Marie. She then decides to bury the child at her home in France - where the remains of another child are also found.
As the story finishes, Ella decides to separate from Rick and spend her life with Jean Paul and her roots in France.
This is the second story I've read about the sacre bleu - thus called because the Church deemed it necessary to use when painting the Virgin's veil. The color was made by mixing lapiz azule with the oil, thus it was a very expensive color.
The author uses elements of magical realism to tell her story. The story is beautifully told - one chapter is present time, and the next is 16th century. the present time is told in the first person, while the 16th century is narrated in the third person, from Isabelle's point of view. The last two chapters combine both stories as the writer brings you to the climax of the story. I could hardly put the book down and read it in two days. ”
“Her first book. One of those two-stories-going-along-at-the-same-time books. Worksfairly well, and quite enjoyed it.”Pamski wrote this review Friday, April 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“My tears are at the corner of my heart already. Almost made me cry. Because of the two different timeline, the older one has story patches that was never found and knew.”Joyce Dionisio wrote this review Thursday, April 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Ovu knjigu zatvoris i zapitas se...i mislis o njoj danima...”ceca wrote this review Friday, February 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Summary: When American Ella Turner moves with her husband to Lisle-sur-Tarn, a small town in southwestern France, she hopes to qualify to practice as a midwife as well as to start a family of her own. Instead she is disrupted by less-than-idyllic village life and strange dreams of the color blue. Haunted by sleepless nights, bewildered by her unwelcoming neighbours, Ella tries to forge a bond with her new home by investigating her French ancestors, with the help of seductive librarian Jean-Paul. Ella’s research takes her to the Cévennes, isolated mountains in the south and the birthplace of the Tournier/Turner family. 16th-century peasant Isabelle du Moulin, known as La Rousse for her red hair, is suspected of witchcraft and tormented for her association with the Virgin Mary even after she and the rest of the village have converted to the “Truth” – the new Protestantism as preached by Calvin’s ministers. When she becomes pregnant, she has no choice but to marry into the powerful Tournier family. The Massacre of St. Bartholomew in Paris sends waves of persecution throughout France, and the Tourniers are forced to flee their home near Le Pont de Montvert for a new life in the Swiss town of Moutier. Old ways follow them there, however, and Isabelle's final shocking fate lies undiscovered — until Ella Turner's arrival four centuries later…
Reader’s Notes: Another Chevalier novel. I bought this one after reading Girl With A Pearl Earring and I think I enjoyed it more. I re-read it again this year, partly due to my parents’ descriptions of life in a French village, where they spent much of 2012. It was amazing how much of their descriptions of scenery matched Chevalier’s. This is definitely a book for the Francophiles, but it’s also a ripper of a good yarn.
“The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier is another awesome book read for the France tag for the Play Book Tag challenge of January, 2013. It's a book I probably wouldn't have picked on my own, but it touched me so much that it is now a favorite!
It is the story of Isabelle and Ella; Isabelle lived in the 16th century and Ella is a decendant of the Tournier family. They are interconnected by their womanhood which manifests itself in dreams and also by some physical places that Ella finds in her research. The story goes back and forth between the two lives; some chapters can be referred to as historical fiction and some a modern day story of a woman trying to find her home and her place in the world.
This book is also a fun look at the modern French. They are a very unique people and this is noted in the book by the use of some of the wonderful characters.
This book will stay with me for a long time - highly recommended!”