There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .
On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present 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 mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . .
Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?
Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
It has taken me a while to get round to reading Jessie Burton’s, The Miniaturist. Jessie Burton has created a magical story set in the late seventeenth century in the bustling city of Amsterdam.
It is winter, 1686, Nella Oortman is about to begin her new life. At the age of eighteen, she has been married to a wealthy merchant, Johannes Brandt who is twenty-one years her senior and a man she barely knows, although this certainly isn’t unusual for this period in history. Things start of shaky for Nella as she tries to adapt to her married life. She is greeted by Joanne’s sister, Marin, who is a complex character. Marin is strong wielded, God fearing character and carries herself very much as the lady of the manor. Jessie Burton has created a mysterious and intricate background for her, which you learn more about as the novel progresses, but I do not want to reveal any spoilers here.
Although her new husband is not there to greet her upon her arrival, Johannes has gifted to Nella, an extraordinary cabinet-sized replica of their home and he instructs Nella to furnish the item, he implies that the object is for Nella’s education. Nella feels ridiculed by the object at first but then she undertakes the task of furnishing the item and employs a Miniaturist to construct beautiful figurines. But when items start to arrive they bear a remarkable significance on events that are yet to come.
Jessie Burton’s writing lights up every page in this book. From the very first sentence, Jessie shows that she has the ability to hook her readers and keep them turning the pages. What she has produced is an emotional, powerful piece of literature which will stay with you long after you have turned the final page. Five stars from me, and I can’t wait to read her latest book, The Muse.
Publication date: 1st January 2015
Print Length: 400 pages