Avery Kim ’24

Claire explores the theme of gratitude while reading Girl in Hyacinth Blue.

Claire Pittaro: Girl in Hyacinth Blue

In her tenth grade English Literature class with Ms. Matilde Larson, Claire read Susan Vreeland’s Girl in Hyacinth Blue.  Insights from her class discussions still inspire her to appreciate the beauty of small moments.  As she prepares to graduate, she cherishes the Sacred Heart moments that will soon become memories. 

“My favorite book from Sacred Heart was Girl in Hyacinth Blue.  I read the book in English Literature with Ms. Larson.  I re-read the book later on and still keep the copy on the bookshelf in my room, and I have recommended it to many people.  I also plan on bringing it to college this fall.

I found the storyline interesting as it follows a fictional Vermeer painting, ‘Girl in Hyacinth Blue,’ back in time from where it was most recently to when it was painted.  I also love the theme of Vermeer’s paintings and the idea of finding the beauty in our everyday moments that are often overlooked.

If you haven’t noticed, the painting in the corner on the far side of Ms. Larson’s room is a Vermeer painting called ‘The Milkmaid.’  So if you have some extra time, I recommend really taking a good look at it and admiring how beautiful it is.  My favorite part of it is how realistic the pouring of the milk is, as Vermeer did an amazing job of creating an image that really captures the suspension of the milk being poured mid-air.

I remember this book because all of the chapters are set in a different time period, yet they are all connected through the story of the painting.  I also found it interesting how the different owners appreciated and admired the painting in their own ways.

I learned the most about the book through the class discussions we had.  My classmates had such great insights, and I learned so much from listening to them.  The one thing that stood out to me the most about learning from this book was the importance of treasuring our everyday moments, through the theme of ‘moments ordinary.’

In the future, I hope to remember to appreciate my everyday moments.  I think especially after COVID-19 and with my time at Sacred Heart coming to an end, I’ve learned to appreciate how special certain parts of my life are that I may not usually notice.  For example, how I get to eat lunch with my best friends almost every day and truly make the most out of our last senior traditions.”

Featured Image by Avery Kim ’24

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