Title: The Miniaturist
Author: Jessie Burton
Published: January 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adult.
Average Goodreads rating: 3.57
On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives at a grand house in Amsterdam to begin her new life as the wife of wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt. Though curiously distant, he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift; a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations ring eerily true.
As Nella uncovers the secrets of her new household, she realises the escalating dangers they face. The miniaturist seems to hold their fate in her hands – but does she plan to save or destroy them?
This turned out to be not what I was expecting, but still a great read! Full of secrets, mystery and most of all period drama!! I can see where the buzz around this came from. Burton’s writing was like a breath of fresh air taken in a grey and industrial site. Because it took this long to get to review this book I ended up not being able to review it as properly as I would have liked but… there you go!
The best things about these historical fiction novels is that apart from enjoying a new story we get to learn something of history in a remote (or maybe not that remote) place in the world. That’s why it’s becoming a great genre for me to slowly learn more interesting stuff.
It has the flavor and style of a classic mixed up with something very new and vivacious, something I cannot pin point but that kept me going.
This wasn’t the most fast paced novel I’ve read, not by a long shot! I wouldn’t have minded a bit more action or something rather than an exquisite writing to grab my attention. Because although I enjoyed it, the beginning felt too slow for my taste. It simply took a longer time than expected for anything considerable to happen. When we finally get a bit to the story that is to come we find ourselves into a drama of terrible proportions. Not a happy story at all, but a sweet and tragic tale this was. The characters displayed here are nothing like the ordinary beings Nella was expecting and so far they will make her mature. She’ll be force to find her own way in this 17th century Amsterdam, without any kind of help, in a foreign land… definitely not an easy way to start your new life. But as masks fall off, you’ll grow to feel deeply for all of these mismatched humans.
Be warned that this is not a mystery, but a full on drama. It has some details that could make you think it was the other way, with this mysterious miniaturist that appears and disappears as wished, but don’t be fooled. This novel also explores a lot controversial themes, that I can’t imagine happening four centuries ago, because even nowadays they aren’t accepted everywhere.
Yes I would recommend you read this book. The writing was so on point and the way the story evolved in something completely different… It will keep your attention and you will enjoy it although for me ended up lacking in some departments I’d still recommend it.