Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach
October 12, 2010 13 Comments
So, it’s about my country and it’s also, the title suggests, about the tulip fever, that captured the Netherlands for a short period. In that time, the price of tulip bulbs reached ridiculous heights. We’re talking about one bulb costing the price of a family car now. An even bigger bubble than the internet bubble from 10 years ago!
The book mentions the tulip fever, of course, but not as much as I had liked. The tulip fever is used as a means for the main characters to gain (or lose) money, but we don’t get any details about scale of the dealings, for instance.
The book was less serious than I expected, but it was a great read. Sophia is a young woman, married to a much older man. His has been married before but his two children and his wife all died. He is hoping to start a new family with Sophia but she fails to get pregnant.
When he gets a portrait painter to paint him and Sophia (so there is something of him left for posterity), Sophia and the painter fall in love. The rest of the story is about the painter, Jan van Loos, and Sophia trying to find ways to be together.
There’s love and intrigue and a good sense of the 17th Century in the Netherlands. Especially the beginning of the book reminded me of Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevallier, which I loved.
If you want a good historical love story, this is the perfect book. It’s not a simple romance novel, there is more to it, but it is quite an easy read and lots of fun. Just don’t expect to learn too much about the tulip fever!
I got this book: from a second-hand book sale. I had it on my wish list already (because of the tulip fever topic)
I read this in: Dutch, the original language is English.