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.
Set in 1654, Dutch author van der Vlugt's first novel to be published in the U.S. paints a fascinating portrait of Holland at the height of its economic and artistic power. After one moment of weakness leads to a pregnancy, independent, resourceful Catrin Barentsdochter ends up married to Govert, a violent, brutish man twice her age. Soon after the baby is stillborn, Govert dies in a drunken rampage. Catrin sells their property and sets out to make her way in the world. She ends up in Delft, where she finds work as a china painter for Evert van Nulandt, the kind owner of a pottery workshop, just as fine Dutch porcelain is being developed. In Delft, she finds friends, success, and love. But Catrin has a horrifying secret, and the one person who knows it threatens to destroy everything. The mystery element is slight, but mid-17th-century Holland is a wonderful place for lovers of historical fiction to visit, populated by great artists, intrepid explorers, and enterprising merchants. \n
I really enjoyed this book! I couldn’t put it down and read it in one setting🤍
My home town
Awesome book about my hometown! Love it! Good read, good story.