June 17, 2013

The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

Title: The Lady and the Unicorn
Author: Tracy Chevalier
First published: 2003
Add it: Goodreads, The Book Depository

This review will be a short one, because the novel doesn't deserve much. It grieves me to think that this kind of book could make it to New York Times bestseller list. Where is people's taste? As for me, I selected the book for Around the World in 12 Books challenge, as it is set in Belgium - our May country. Moreover, I love the tapestries described in the book, and I think a much more amazing story could have been written about them.

So the 6 tapestries composing The Lady and the Unicorn set you can see below. They are really a masterpiece! The idea of the book was to describe the process of waiving them and expand the idea of the set, which is believed to represent 5 senses, by the supposition that each of the women on the tapestries meant something to the painter. The problem is that the author had fantasy for only 4 girls out of 6, and the relationships between the painter and the girls were... meh. Especially sex. Strange how people are attracted to this kind of writing, but I've mentioned it already, right? On the positive side, I think that Brussels and the process of waving are described quite accurately, so some research has undoubtedly taken place.

No more about the book, let's just enjoy the beautiful tapestries!






À Mon Seul Désir


  1. I hated her book The Girl With The Pearl Earring (although I thought the cinematography of the film was lovely). I was briefly tempted by this book because I love the tapestries but then had second thoughts because why would I want to trust something I love to the pathetic imagination of the same author I knew I already disliked?

    Your review has destroyed any remnant of perverse temptation. Thank you!

    1. Ha, I'm glad I saved you some time :) Sometimes I pick another book by an author that has disappointed me previously, but this will not be the case :)

  2. You saved me time too! I would be tempted by the tapestries but I know I would hate a shallow treatment.

  3. I love everything medieval, but this sounds awful. Glanced at the NYT book review dd 18 Dec 2003. NYT was not very enthusiastic. NYT Best seller list on the cover is at most deceiving... good for sales, and not for readers.


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