A Blogger Recommended – Tulip Fever

   Welcome to A Blogger Recommended, a series where I will periodically write about a book I’ve read based on the review/post of another blogger.

    Today’s recommendation  is Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach and I learned about this book on leeswammes‘ blog.

    The novel is set in 17th Century Amsterdam and is about Sophia, the young wife of an older, prosperous merchant.  The marriage is rather happy, although Sophia has not yet borne any children, and Cornelis – her husband – has decided to immortalize their union by having their portrait painted.  The painter – Jan van Loos – arrives; he and Sophia are initially hostile to each other, but of course that only masked their mutual passion.

     Sophia realizes what she is missing in her life (or what she thinks she is missing) and wants to be with Jan, but she also does not want to hurt her husband.  The lovers – with the cooperation of Sophia’s maid, Maria – concoct a plot that not only touches on the tulip fever of the title (immense speculation on tulip bulbs that caused prices to rise dramatically) but which also reminded me a little bit of the first season of Glee.

    As leeswammes mentioned in her review, I too would have liked to read more detail about the Tulip Fever that gripped Amsterdam and the rest of Holland.  I would have expected it to have a larger presence in the novel given the title and I was left unsatisfied with how this part of history was described (*sigh* I guess I’ll have to find some more books about the subject to read).  Having said that, though, I’ve always enjoyed novels that represent “average” life in a past era and this was no exception; the descriptions of the markets and taverns of Amsterdam were very enticing and make me want to visit the city even more to see if I would be able to experience at least a sense of what it was like at that time. 

   Thank you, leeswammes, for introducing me to this novel!

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