Book Feature - Midnight Blue by Simone van der Vlugt
HBL Note: I have a type when it comes to books. I love historical fiction, I love works about art and artists. If a book is either of these two things, I'm going to be into it. So when the two come together, It is sure to be a winning combination! This book is compared to some of my favorites like The Girl with the Pearl Earring and The Miniaturist...another point for that. Plus, the book cover is gorgeous (and you know how much I love a good book cover!) I like that this book is set in Holland, a place I don't often get to read about and in their Golden age, too. This book is bound to be a great read.
From the publisher:
From Simone Van Der Vlugt comes her European bestselling novel of a young woman's rise as a painter in Holland's Golden Age—perfect for readers of The Miniaturist, Tulip Fever, and Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Amsterdam 1654: against the backdrop of Holland's Golden Age, a dangerous secret threatens to destroy a young widow's new life.
Following the sudden death of her husband, twenty-five-year old Catrin leaves her small village and takes a job as a housekeeper to the successful Van Nulandt merchant family. Amsterdam is a city at the peak of its powers: science and art are flourishing in the Golden Age and Dutch ships bring back exotic riches from the Far East. Madam Van Nulandt passes her time taking expensive painting lessons from a local master, Rembrandt van Rigin, and when Catrin takes up a brush to finish some of her mistress's work, Rembrandt realizes the maid has genuine talent, and encourages her to continue.
When a figure from her past threatens her new life, Catrin flees to the smaller city of Delft. There, her gift as a painter earns her a chance to earn a living painting pottery at a local workshop. Slowly, the workshop begins to develop a new type of pottery to rival fancy blue-on-white imported Chinese porcelain—and the graceful and coveted Delft Blue designs she creates help revolutionize the industry. But when tragedy strikes, Catrin must decide whether to defend her newfound independence, or return to the village that she'd fled.