In Vermeer’s Shadow by Josette Abruzzini
WHAT IF…. Johannes Vermeer, the beloved Dutch painter, and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the uneducated cloth merchant who discovered microbes, were friends? Such is the premise of this 55,000-word MG historical novel, In Vermeer’s Shadow: The Tale of a Scientist & an Artist.
Young Antoni is sent away to school following his mother’s remarriage. He thinks his friend, Johann, with a loving family, is the luckiest boy in Delft. As a sixteen-year-old, Antoni must surrender his dream of a formal education and submit to an apprenticeship. He vows to live an honest life as a cloth merchant. Johann’s paintings bring him adulation, but his uncompromising artistry results in a host of challenges he is ill-prepared to deal with. Amid political chaos, Antoni must choose between honoring his friendship with Johann, and maintaining his reputation as an honest man.
In Vermeer’s Shadow is a carefully-researched novel about friends whose lives are shaped by love, war, disease, and new ideas of Holland’s Golden Age. Does Antoni find the love that he missed as a child? How does he reconcile his need for truth and his friendship with Johann? Does he become the scholar he had always hoped to be?
A former teacher, I’ve designed this cross-curricular vehicle to introduce the history of 17th century science and art, all within a compelling story. This past July, I was published in STEAM-Ed Magazine, and in Downhome Magazine.
If you are curious to read more, I’d be thrilled to send my manuscript your way.
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