Catrin, a widow in 17th century Netherlands, leaves her village under suspicious circumstances and heads for Amsterdam. Trying to escape her past isn't successful – a man from her village appears and knows her secrets. Fearful, she leaves again, moving to the smaller city of Delft. There she finds work painting the new style of blue-on-white pottery. Her increasingly skilled designs and her ability to sense popular trends make her invaluable to the pottery studio and win her the respect of the men with whom she works. Yet when she thinks her life is finally settled, tragedy strikes. Is she being punished for her past? Midnight Blue evokes a place and time not often highlighted. With cameos by Rembrandt and Vermeer, this is perfect for fans of Girl with a Pearl Earring and B.A. Shapiro.
- Cindy— From Cindy's Recs
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.
About the Author
Simone van der Vlugt is an acclaimed Dutch novelist, whose books have sold more than two million copies. She lives with her husband and two children in Alkmaar. Midnight Blue is her first novel to be published in the United States.