The Virgin Blue

  • by Tracy Chevalier
  • Narrated by Janine Carter, Gigi Marceau Clarke
  • 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin, two women born centuries apart, yet bound by a fateful family legacy. When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start a family of her own. Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a peculiar dream of the color blue propels her on a quest to uncover her family's French ancestry. As the novel unfolds - alternating between Ella's story and that of Isabelle du Moulin four hundred years earlier - a common thread emerges that unexpectedly links the two women. Part detective story, part historical fiction, The Virgin Blue is a novel of passion and intrigue that compels readers to the very end.


What the Critics Say

"...a triumph. Excellent." (Time Out)
" deserves an award." (The Independent)
"...beautifully crafted...shot with vivid colors." (The Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

excellent listening, mediocre story

The setting is France, and the listening was greatly enhanced by the beautiful French accents of the readers of this novel. However, this is a slow-moving story. I love historical fiction, and the older story was much more interesting than the contemporary one. I found myself slogging through those sections and not liking the character nor the reader's petulant-sounding voice. I was impatient for the end, despite interesting plot twists along the way. Chevalier's other novels are far better than this one.
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- Beth

Intriguing and so-slightly mystical

This story has a delicate charm which reflects its spiritual essence. While it doesn't wallow in religion and symbolism, it does pay homage to both Catholic idolatry and the Protestant Reformation, as well as the deeper, earthier nature-worship which has inspired women since before time. As ever with Ms. Chevalier, the settings, both present-day and centuries past, are scrupulously researched and painlessly recreated. Ella may not be the most sympathetic character in fiction, and Isabelle's history will pain and appall modern American women, but these are realistic people who conduct themselves in believeable fashion. I would still say that this book is unmistakeably "women's fiction", but don't misunderstand me; it is a very superior novel.

Tracy Chevalier is the able successor to Margaret Atwood. "Virgin Blue" lacks some of the humor of "Fallen Angels", perhaps, but the narrative is brilliantly wrought. And the two women responsible for reading the Audible version of this complicated story are absolutely without equals, and couldn't have done a more superb job.
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- Barbara

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2003
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books