This is the fourth novel I’ve read from Tracy Chevalier. And like so many authors, artists, and singers before her. I have been grasping for the greatness, that I saw in her first work. But have sadly not found in anything she has produced afterwards. I don’t know if this is my own mistake. If a younger version of myself saw things with wider eyes, and so celebrates them as better. I still have to say, that although Beyoncé’s songs have been amazing. Nothing for me will be better than ‘Crazy in Love’.
Maybe the same is true of Tracy Chevalier. Her novel ‘The Girl with a Pearl Earring’ surprised me by how good it was. And after reading ‘Burning Bright’, then ‘The Virgin Blue’, and now finally ‘The Lady and the Unicorn’. I feel as though she is on a downward spiral away from the book that she is now known for.
Although I feel this is her worst book, all of her books are still good. They are entertaining, and easy to read. And they have definitely drawn me in, some more than others.
The Lady and the unicorn is a historical fiction novel like all of Chevaliers other works. The historical part are the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries which are center stage of the book. There are six tapestries, which were discovered in 1841 and are now in display at the Musée du Moyen-Âge. These tapestries are considered by some, the greatest works of art from the Middle Ages.
The remainder of the book, which is shown from different first peoples perspectives. Shows the characters that have something to do with the tapestries. From the commissioners, to the painters, to the weavers themselves. Many of the characters are also connected through sexual tension, which by all means is released throughout the book.
My favorite thing about this book are the tapestries. They are amazingly described, and the process is laid out, so that I’m sure I could make them myself. The tapestries and the little story’s that go along with them seem beautiful.
My least favorite thing about the book, are the characters, and their lack of depth. I didn’t get to connect with them and their struggles as I did with ‘A Girl with a Pearl Earring’.
Still this is a very good novel, if you approach it as a fun light summer (or winter) read. It was easy and enjoyable, and I don’t regret reading it. I just wish it was more than it was.
3.5/5 for me.
Check my video on YouTube about this book!