1. Do you think Griet was typical of other girls her age? In what ways? How did she differ? Did you find her compassionate or selfish? Giving or judgmental?
2. In many ways, the primary relationship in this novel appears to be between Griet and Vermeer. Do you think this is true? How do you feel about Vermeer's relationship with his wife? How does that come into play?
3. Peering into 17th century Delft shows a small, self-sufficient city. Where do you think the many-pointed star at the city's center pointed toward? What was happening elsewhere at that time?
4. Discuss the ways religion affected Griet's relationship with Vermeer. His wife? Maria Thins?
5. Maria Thins obviously understood Vermeer's art more than his wife did. Why do you think this was the case? Do you think she shared Griet's talents?
6. Do you think Griet made the right choice when she married the butcher's son? Did she have other options?
7. How is Delft different to or similar to your town or city? Are the social structures comparable?
8. Though Girl with a Pearl Earring appears to be about one man and woman, there are several relationships at work. Which is the most difficult relationship? Which is the most promising?
Girl With a Pearl Earring