Sunday, May 22, 2022
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Speer Memorial Library Book Club webBy William Renner, reference librarian

Speer Memorial Library in Mission invites you to join them on Tuesday, November 16, for a discussion of Girl with a Pearl Earring in the Library’s Community Room and online via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. in Spanish and 6:30 p.m. in English. A link will be sent to those who wish to attend via Zoom.

For 2021, we are providing an added incentive to participate in the Morton’s Book Club. Speer Memorial Library was the recipient of the Texas Reads Grant and will make free copies available, while supplies last, to people who sign up for the book discussions. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


Girl with a Pearl Earring

The story begins in 1664 in Delft, a town in the Netherlands, where 16-year-old Griet must leave home so she can work to help support her family. Griet’s father, a tile painter by trade, has been blinded in a workplace accident and can no longer work. So, through the artists’ guild, employment is found for Griet as a maid in the home of a local artist, a painter named Jahannes Vermeer.

As Griet becomes more settled in her role – cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing, and caring for the children – she also grows increasingly fascinated with her master’s paintings. He notices her appreciation for art, and soon she is helping him, running errands and mixing paints. But as their relationship grows closer, it begins to arouse suspicion within the household, especially with his wife.

Written by Tracy Chevalier and first published in 1999, Girl with a Pearl Earring is a historical novel inspired by the famous painting of the same name by the renowned 17th century Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer. Letting her imagination fill the void left by the scarcity of evidence about Vermeer’s life, the author attempts to answer the question, who was the girl with the pearl earring?

For more information, or to sign up for the book discussion, please call the Reference Desk at (956) 580-8754, or send an email to (please include your name and telephone number).

The title is also available in English as an e-book and e-audiobook and in Spanish as an e-book at

Speer Memorial Library is located at 12th and Kika de La Garza in Mission. The library is open (except for holidays) Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The library’s homepage can be accessed for more information at Stay up to date with the latest events going on at the library by joining our Facebook page at