Monday, December 10, 2007

Book Review: The Lady and the Unicorn

December 10, 2007

I loved Tracy Chevalier's Girl with the Pearl Earring so much that I right away ordered another Chevalier book from PaperbackSwap. As so often happens, I didn't have the same wonderful experience in my second encounter with an author. Like Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Lady and the Unicorn is based on a famous work(s) of art. In this case, the story centers on the creation of Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, commissioned by the Le Viste family toward the end of the fifteenth century. The tapestries were rediscovered in 1841 in a chateau in France and became much publicized. Chevalier takes what little is known about their creation (including the actual artist himself) and weaves a tale of two families, one noble and one working, and the artist who creates havoc among the women in both houses. The story is intriguing, but somehow I wasn't as captivated by the characters and was frequently lost. This sometimes happens to me when each chapter is told from the point-of-view of a different character. (Sometimes my concentration skills are lacking, especially when I am reading only a chapter each night.) Still, I enjoyed the story. The concept of elaborating on the creation of a piece of art--be it literature, a painting, architecture, etc.--fascinates me, and I will seek out Chevalier's other novels of a similar nature.

No comments: