The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton

“Things Can Change. Every Woman is the Architect of her Own Fortune. I Fight to Emerge.”

Set in 17th century Amsterdam, the new wife of Johannes Brandt, Nella, is given a miniature replica of their home. Its tiny occupants mirror their real-life counterparts and show Nella what grave dangers lie in wait…

The cover, blurb and enthusiastic reviews that I had read of The Miniaturist made me excited about this book, so when I saw it on offer at Waterstones I had to pick it up! And it’s safe to say that it did not disappoint.

The plot is slow at first, with it seeming to be a mild commentary of 17th century society in Amsterdam, where it is set. (Another reason for me to want to read it – I love this city so much, and I have visited twice.) However, at about 100 pages in, the plot picks up and becomes so much more, with the mystery and intrigue developing.

The ending brings very little conclusion to this plot and leaves some unanswered question for the readers, such as “who is the miniaturist?” and “does Nella project the events onto the dolls or does the miniaturist control her? And if so, then how?” It is for these reasons that I both liked and disliked the ending.

The characters, such as the protagonist Nella, are well developed with both flaws and secrets, although the nature of the book’s conclusion and its mystery elements makes it hard for the reader to try understand them. The one exception to this would be the titular character of the Miniaturist, whom we learn very little about, deliberately.

I enjoyed reading this book greatly – it is wonderfully written. I was slow reading it due to my final IB exams, which were taking place over this last month, but they are all finished now, leaving me lots of time to read and write posts! (And prepare for university, of course.)



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