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|Format:||Paperback / softback, 288 pages|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 April 2001|
A tale of art, beauty, lust, greed, deception and retribution -- set in a refined society ablaze with tulip fever.
In 1630s Amsterdam, tulipomania has seized the populace. Everywhere men are seduced by the fantastic exotic flower. But for wealthy merchant Cornelis Sandvoort, it is his young and beautiful wife, Sophia, who stirs his soul. She is the prize he desires, the woman he hopes will bring him the joy that not even his considerable fortune can buy.
Cornelis yearns for an heir, but so far he and Sophia have failed to produce one. In a bid for immortality, he commissions a portrait of them both by the talented young painter Jan van Loos. But as Van Loos begins to capture Sophia's likeness on canvas, a slow passion begins to burn between the beautiful young wife and the talented artist.
As the portrait unfolds, so a slow dance is begun among the household's inhabitants. Ambitions, desires, and dreams breed a grand deception -- and as the lies multiply, events move toward a thrilling and tragic climax.
In this richly imagined international bestseller, Deborah Moggach has created the rarest of novels -- a lush, lyrical work of fiction that is also compulsively readable. Seldom has a novel so vividly evoked a time, a place, and a passion.
Although Moggach, a well-known TV writer and prolific novelist in her native Britain, has published here before, this book, a bestseller at home last year, is the one that is likely to be her breakout on this side of the water. It is yet another story set in 17th-century Holland involving a real-life artist, Jan van Loos. But whereas such books as Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue and Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring concentrate on an artist's work, this is a headlong romantic drama that uses the painting of a portrait simply as a jumping-off point. Van Loos comes to paint Sophia, the pretty young wife of wealthy burger Cornelius Sandvoort, which starts a train of events that will irredeemably change all their lives. Sophia and the artist fall hopelessly in love; the Sandvoorts' servant, Maria, is having a child by a man who, thinking himself betrayed by her, has run off and joined the navy; meanwhile, Cornelius has always longed for a child. Out of these circumstances, the infatuated couple formulate a plot, but one that depends on getting together a great deal of money in a short time; hence, the frenzied speculation in the value of new and rare breeds of tulip that gives the book its title. Moggach puts all this together in a series of brief, breathless chaptersÄpacking in skillfully presented facts, atmosphere and colorÄeach told from a different point of view: even the hapless drunk who brings the whole scheme crashing down around Jan's and Sophia's ears is given his moment in the limelight, and the figure of the elderly, cuckolded lover is for once sympathetically drawn. The Amsterdam of the period is brought almost physically alive, and a wistful postlude looks back at all the romantic anguish from a serene distance. This is popular fiction created at a high pitch of craft and rapid readability. Movie rights sold to Steven Spielberg. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Cornelis Sandvoort is a successful merchant in 1630s Amsterdam. Widowed, he marries the much younger Sophia, the eldest daughter of a family that has been left impoverished by the death of the father. They have a somewhat happy life shared with their servant Maria. However, this joy is turned upside down when Cornelis decides to have their portrait painted by Jan van Loos, who brings unexpected passion to Sophia, whose actions impact all their lives. Though Moggach provides wonderful descriptions of Amsterdam, the book plods along to an anticipated ending that is somewhat disappointing. Listeners will get bogged down in the tedious conversations and meandering subplots, narrated by Rula Lenska, that add little to the story. Some editing might have made this better and more gripping. Those with a love of regency and other kinds of historical romances may enjoy this. Otherwise, not a necessary purchase.ÄDanna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"Sumptuous prose ... reads like a thriller."
-- "The New York Times Book Review"
"An artful novel in every sense of the word ... deftly evokes 17th-century Amsterdam's vibrant atmosphere."
-- "Los Angeles Times"
"Need a brief escape into a beautiful and faraway world? Deborah Moggach's wonderful Tulip Fever can offer you that."
-- "New York Post"
"Taut with suspense and unexpected revelations."
-- "Entertainment Weekly"
-- "The Philadelphia Inquirer"
|Publisher: ||Dial Press|
|Dimensions: ||20.75 x 12.65 x 1.91 centimeters (0.24 kg)|