A Dutch painting of a young girl survives three and a half centuries through loss, flood, anonymity, theft, secrecy, even the Holocaust. This is the story of its owners whose lives are influenced by its beauty and mystery. Despite their unsatisfied longings, their own and others' flaws, the girl in hyacinth blue has the power to engender love in all its human variety.
This luminous story begins in the present day, when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. The professor swears it is a Vermeer--but why has he hidden this important work for so long? The reasons unfold in a series of events that trace the ownership of the painting back to World War II and Amsterdam, and still further back to the moment of the work's inspiration. As the painting moves through each owner's hands, what was long hidden quietly surfaces, illuminating poignant moments in multiple lives. Susan Vreeland's characters remind us, through their love of this mysterious painting, how beauty transforms and why we reach for it, what lasts and what in our lives is singular and unforgettable.
Can a blind couple raise four children on a ranch? Author Susan Vreelend met such a family in 1983 and felt compelled to share their lives.
What Love Sees is her first novel, published in 1988. Jean Treadway, a young, cultured New England woman whose every material need is supplied by wealthy, overprotective parents "meets" through arranged correspondence Forrest Holly, a dirt-poor Southern California rancher whose spiritual foundation turns despair into purpose.
As different as they are in background, they share two things: their blindness and their determination to live an active, normal life and raise a family.
While Jean was among the first women to use a Seeing Eye dog on urban streets in the late 1930s, Forrest used a seeing eye bull and his horses to guide him on the ranch in the 1940s.
As they discover each other through letters that have to be read to them, his earnestness and folksy humor win her heart.
Their four children, each with a distinct individuality, provide challenges, frustrations, and occasions for tenderness. Through tears and laughter, tragedy and triumph, they all learn Forrest’s doctrine that "There’s more than one way to skin a cat."