Monday, February 1, 2016

Girl in Hyacinth Blue - Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter / First Paragraph

Have you ever read a book that goes backward in time instead of forward? That's the structure of Girl in Hyacinth Blue. In this story, the ownership of a painting is traced back through history, with each chapter revealing the effect the painting has on its owner, until the final chapter reveals the artist.

First Paragraph:
Love Enough
     Cornelius Engelbrecht invented himself. Let me emphasize, straight away, that he isn't what I would call a friend, but I know him enough to say that he did purposely design himself: single, modest dresser in receding colors, mathematics teacher, sponsor of the chess club, mild mannered acquaintance to all rather than a friend to any, a person anxious to become invisible. However, that exterior blandness masked a burning center, and for some reason that became clear to me only later, Cornelius Engelbrecht revealed to me the secret obsession that lay beneath his orderly, controlled design. 

Teaser (from Page 83, trade paperback edition):
And her headdress! She thought it clever to suggest her family's contributions to Dutch naval history by building a ship, a man-of-war I think it was, atop horizontal rows of cadogan curls - no one wore cadogan curls anymore - as if the vessel were bravely battling those ferocious blond waves. On its stern she flew a tiny flag. 
(In case you're curious, I did a Google search for "cadogan curls" and found this: "...the ladies adopted the "cadogan," an English style, similar to the wigs worn by the men. The hair was still powdered, but it was bunched out at the side and braided or curled, and looped up at the back.")  

Genre: Literature / Historical
Book Length: 196 Pages
Amazon Link: Girl in Hyacinth Blue
Author Website: Susan Vreeland

Synopsis:
This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer—but why has he hidden this important work for so long? The reasons unfold in a series of events that trace the ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and still further back to the moment of the work's inspiration. As the painting moves through each owner's hands, what was long hidden quietly surfaces, illuminating poignant moments in multiple lives. Susan Vreeland's characters remind us, through their love of this mysterious painting, how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, what lasts and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!




First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.
Link at BibliophileByTheSea




Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

33 comments:

Juli Witte said...

I like the sound of this book! Tracking the painting through the generations is a great way to learn something about people. And I love the description of the hat! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
My Tuesday Post
Juli @ Universe in Words

Beth F said...

Nice teasers. I too like the premise of the book. Enjoy!

My teaser (w/ a giveaway) is at Beth Fish Reads.

collettakay said...

A story written backwards? Sounds interesting but maybe a bit confusing. I hope you can stop by:

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/02/teaser-tuesday-icecutters-daughter-2216.html

Colletta

JoAnn said...

I read this years ago with my book club and remember enjoying it, but not much else. Hope you like it, too.

Reading With Jade said...

Although this doesn't sound like my typical read, I'm intrigued by the backwards telling.

Reading With Jade

Kay said...

I'm pretty sure I might have read this a long time ago or if not read it, I certainly looked at it. And I do like books that play with time - starting at the end and going back or shifting time periods during the story. That always seems like 'secrets to be revealed' to me. Nice pick!

mysm2000 said...

I love fiction centred around Vermeer and I like the beginning and teaser, too. This sounds like a book I could get into and I'm adding it to my TBR list right now. Thanks for sharing — I've heard nothing about this book until now. Here's my Intro and Teaser: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-19D

Margot said...

Going backward in time is an interesting premise. I'm interested in reading this just from that standpoint. However, I really like the description of the man in the first paragraph. Now I really want to read this. Thanks Sandy.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Wow! While the "going back in time" style can be confusing, I can see how that would work well with this kind of story. Fascinating...I do want to know more.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Nise' said...

I've had this book home from the library. Did not get to it and may have to re-borrow it again.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I read this about 10 years ago and remember I liked it a lot but, the intro seems totally foreign to me now LOL

Laura said...

Interesting premise. I wonder if she was as clever as she thought she was. Thanks for coming by My Teaser

Mary Graham said...

What a great reader this is sad something I would want to read it would be fun to save to the end of the book knowing you're actually gettin to the beginning of the book.

Claudia Arroyo said...

I'm curious about this headdress! I do love a good historical novel, this one looks promising!

Harvee Lau - Book Dilettante said...

I would read it just because of the way it's organized, going backward in time!

Anonymous said...

I loved the first paragraph and the snarky tone in the middle of the book - this sounds really interesting with the reverse chronology. I'm going to track it down - thank you for the TT:)

Cleo Bannister said...

Oh yes I do like a reverse told story - Sarah Waters The Night Watch is written like that and you'd think it would ruin the suspense but in some ways I found it made it worse...

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

Very nice teasers!

Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post!

theterrorofknowing said...

I've never heard of this book at all but it sounds intriguing, I must keep an eye out for it :)

Katie said...

How intriguing! Wonderful post.
Here is my Teaser Tuesday:
https://katiesjumbledthoughts.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/teaser-tuesday-222016/

Ali @ I Wuv Books said...

Sounds like an interesting idea for a book although I'd probably find it confusing :)

Jaina said...

This sounds like a great book! I love novels that play with time - another great one is John Boyne's "The House of Special Purpose," which is about the Romanovs.

Laura Thomas said...

Everything about this sounds so good. And yes, I've read a book like that. I don't think it would work for a lot of stories but sounds like it did for this one.

My TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2016/02/02/teaser-tuesdays-145-burning-heat/

Alice Audrey said...

You had me at "receding colors." Yeah, I'm weird that way.

Debbie said...

I love moving in time books! Keep reading.

Iliana said...

Great teaser! I read this one years ago and remember loving it. I've since read a few others by Susan Vreeland and she does not disappoint. Thank you for visiting my blog :)

lifewithnoplot said...

That is a really cool concept for a story! I would never have thought of doing something like that. Hope you are enjoying it. I might have to check it out!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Denise @ Life With No Plot

karen said...

Definitely an interesting premise! Thanks for sharing & for stopping by :)

Eustacia Tan said...

A ship on a head? Sounds very... Seussian xD

Jacqueline Gum said...

Great premise! Like the sound of it too!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Sandra,

This probably isn't something I would be instantly drawn to, on the shelves in the bookshop, despite the intriguing cover and title.

However, after reading the synopsis, together with your chosen excerpts, I might well be persuaded to delve into the world of literary fiction, as a break from my usual crime / thriller reads.

Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your week.

Yvonne

Faith said...

Wow, a book with a "backwards" story sounds like a really original and intriguing idea. I like the quotes from the story, especially the first paragraph. And thanks for stopping by my blog!

The Candid Cover YA book blogger said...

This definitely sounds like an interesting story. I love books that are so interesting they cause you to look up the facts to know more about the setting and characters!