Set in Holland during the seventeenth century, this tells the story of the three daughters of Hendrick Visser. Hendrick is an artist painting in Amsterdam, and is a broad fellow in his desires. He adores his wife and children, and while he's very competent at what he does, money just seems to flow through his hands. His wife Anna is more than a little fed up with his behavior, but she loves him very much, and manages to keep their household together. Of their three daughters, the eldest two, Francesca and Aletta, have the most artistic talent, while the youngest Sybylla, is a cheerful butterfly of a girl, dreaming of a life of leisure when she snags a rich husband of her own.
But unexpected tragedy hits when Anna dies giving birth to s stillborn son, and Aletta suffers from a violent encounter in the street. The family is badly scarred by this Hendrick focuses more on gambling and drinking, Francesca takes on the chores of mothering her family, Aletta withdraws emotionally, and only Sybylla seems to remain unchanged. But as the three girls mature, we get to see them moving into the wider world of Amsterdam and Delft.
The Golden Tulip brings one of the most exciting periods of Dutch history alive, creating a page-turning novel that is as vivid and unforgettable as a Vermeer painting.
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