Customer Reviews for

The Virgin Blue: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 81 )
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5 Star

(30)

4 Star

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3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    good story

    worth reading

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    Did not like it!

    Did not like it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    A book filled with flaws

    While the idea for the story was interesting, it was not done well enough to draw the reader in and keep them there. Ella's whole story consists of her going around and fetching things to try to learn about her family. This begins to seem repetitive as the book progresses. Isabelle's story becomes much more interesting as a result because it isn't one big scavenger hunt. The book also leaves several sentences in French without a translation which can leave the reader wondering if they just missed out on something important. There isn't much interest to be found in the connection the two share because it isn't enough to really care about.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2006

    boring

    I enjoyed Girl With the Pearl Earring and wanted to read more by this author. Falling Angels was terribly boring and this one was pretty boring overall as well. I kept reading though because I thought the two stories would connect in some amazing way but they never really did. I didn't really see enough parallel's between Ella's story and Isabelle's. I generally like to read books that are more realistic and didn't enjoy the whole story line about Ella's dreams. I also felt bad for her poor husband. I found it hard to follow Isabelle's story not knowing enough about the time period during which it took place it would have been helpful to explain some of that in a Historical Note in the beginning of the book rather than in the end. After reading this I think I have given up on this author. I look forward to starting a new book that will hold my attention better.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2006

    poor characterization

    Suspenseful, but the characters are underdeveloped and unsympathetic. Ella, the modern day heroine, is self-absorped and manipulative. Perhaps we're meant to find her self-discovery in France somehow relevatory, but it comes across as fickle. Her sudden dissatisfaction with her marriage and callousness toward her husband is impossible to understand or sympathize with because it is never explained, and her constant harping on her difficulty in learning French is gratingly out of place against the backdrop of the big life changes she is experiencing. Isabelle, her predecessor, is annoyingly helpless , and her predicament equally unexplained and confusing. The other characters are one-dimensional caricatures, designed as foils for, variously, Isabelle's implausible martyrdom, Ella's cliched 'battle-of-the-sexes' worldview, or her (also cliched) adjustment problems in France. Fortunately, Chevalier seems to have developed since this first novel. But don't make the mistake of believing this is another 'Girl with a Pearl Earring.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2006

    shallow and underdeveloped

    The writing is evocative and suspenseful, but the characters shallow and unappealing. The latter-day heroine, Ella, is self-absorped and pretentious, and her predecessor, Isabelle, is irritatingly helpless. Ella is particularly unappealing: a caricatured American tourist, whose view of life seems to be two parts 'Berlitz learn French in your car' and one part 'Men are from Mars, women from Venus' cliches. The male characters are without exception one-dimensional foils either for Ella/Isabelle's aribtrary annoyance or childish infatuation. Chevalier's later works are better, but it is easy to see why this one is in B&N's Sale Annex.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2004

    Very disappointing

    I am so glad I read 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' first to know how Ms Chevalier truly writes or else I would never pick up another of her works. There was very little foreshadowing, too much coincidence -- Jean-Paul was not likeable, and Ella's disappointment with her husband was confusing. The only characters I cared for were Isabelle and Marie. The basic premis is interesting - perhaps a rewrite ?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2003

    Borrow It, Don't Buy It

    Although the historical side of this book is intriguing, the narrative is not. It races back and forth, with links appearing between characters at random. I did appreciate the impact of the Bible, the implications of the blue dress, and the romance with a librarian! It would have been a better historical detective story if more history had been woven into the text.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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