Midnight Blue is a pleasure to read, with charming characters and a well-oiled plot that skillfully jumps from one obstacle to the next ... Translator Jenny Watson skillfully renders van der Vlugt’s prose in an English that retains the slight flavor of its original Dutch, creating a first-person narrative with the delicious sense that Catrin is telling her story in her own Dutch-inflected voice ... the historical background is rendered with a light touch — almost too light for this fan of historical fiction — and Catrin’s drama is delightfully universal ... The pleasure of those compelling plot developments will whisk the reader away along with Catrin, making Midnight Blue an utterly enjoyable and transportive read.
It’s an interesting story, but somehow the drama lacks realism and the style seems a little stilted. The historical elements are wrapped up in a fairly light romance, and the dialogue often seems a little too modern ... Overall it is a light and pleasant read about a fascinating period in Dutch history.
Catrin is appealing, her motivations realistic and relatable. Already a European best-seller, the novel proceeds at a brisk clip, and certain elements guarantee that those who loved Girl with a Pearl Earring (2000) will enjoy this, as will fans of well-written women’s and historical fiction.