In the first few pages, I was absolutely stunned by a math professor’s tale that his father, a Nazi officer, stole a Vermeer painting right off the wall of a Jewish home. Hidden in the family library from then on, the professor finally shared his secret with a colleague. The details provided by the professor to convince the colleague that the painting was a true Vermeer were astounding. As he described the brush strokes, the position of the girl, and the broken tile in the corner of the canvas, I was pulled right into the painting! I was further intrigued by how many other artists tried to imitate Vermeer, some quite successfully.
But before I went much further in the book, my interest waned. Each chapter was devoted to new characters and described how their lives interacted with the painting. At times, the stories were flat and disjointed, and the dialogue was too rudimentary to be enjoyable. The descriptive writing that had so quickly drawn me in during the first few pages was obviously absent from the remainder of the book. It seemed as if two different people had written the book. I was hoping this book would be another wildly descriptive and interesting novel about art and history, but was disapointed. I didn’t finish it and wouldn’t recommend it.