The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Publisher: Ecoo Press
Genre: Fiction, Historical fiction, Mystery
Post Book Thoughts: Ok look! I really liked this book but what the hell!!
Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam–a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion–a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.
“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?
Don’t be entirely fooled by the low rating on this book, I mean I stand by it’s rating but I also still had fun reading it. I think end of the day I was a bit frustrated and disappointed by the ending of this story.
clears throat ok kids let me explain.
Maybe the biggest issue with this book was that it tried to deal with one too many topics in such a small book. There’s sexism issues, racism, homosexuality and even class division. To be fair to the author she really picked interesting story lines to look at these issues and the characters were alright too. But it all got lost in this one big jumble and what I really came for really wasn’t addressed.
What I came for being what’s the story behind the mysterious miniaturist?!?! What’s the deal??!?!
It was not the plot twist I was hoping for in the end, I really would like to know what the actual point was behind the miniaturist doing all of that. How did this strange lady who we are told nothing about obtain these secret magical powers that allows her to carve out very detailed miniature figurines of things and people in someones lives, and having those being clues to things that are already happening or to happen in that someone’s house? And what was the point? Why was there no backstory to this?!!?
So basically in the story 18 year old Nella marries this old dude and goes to live with him, he lives with his sister Marin, a black slave? I guess.. called Otto and another maid whose name I forgot.
I love the twist where the guy Nella married actually turns out to be gay and the message it gives out when he is executed for his preferences. Also the one where Marin actually ends up pregnant with Otto’s kid! Even Marin as a character, true she was a hypocritical possum, but her back story and how he became who she was in that day and age was all fascinating. Like all of this interesting, but again too much happening and why did the actual story of the Miniaturist take a back stage to all of this? It’s frustrating because it held all the potential to be this crazy mysterious otherworldly dark tale but it kinda ended up being 17th century soap opera. I mean the story it turned out to be wasn’t such a bad story either but still!!!
End of the day though it was still interesting to pick up and read, it is also well written but just don’t expect the kind of ending you probably are going to expect when you start reading the book.
(Ok maybe I’m being a petty brat giving it such a low rating but yeeaa read and judge for yourselves!)