Book Review #20 THE MINIATURIST by Jessie Burton

This book was a birthday present that I chose for my self. I am trying to ensure that I read a wider range of books and not just YA fantasy.
I liked the look of the cover and the blurb drew me in.

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?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

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I really enjoyed this book. I don’t normally read period novels, except for some of the classics, but it was a fascinating read. The opinions surrounding women and other issues such a religion, business, race and sexuality made for a novel that kept my interest.

Nella’s move into the life of a married woman is, needless to say, a rocky one. She does her best to be the woman that her mother told her to be, and gets a bit of a shock when it doesn’t all go to plan. The baby producing, home making plan certainly doesn’t play out.

The relationship with her new sister-in-law is awkward and strained making home life extremely uncomfortable for her. However, a lovely twist in the middle of the book adjusts the relationships within the house and things get really interesting.

The gift of the model house to Nella is an odd one and the events surrounding it are certainly mysterious but they weren’t at all as sinister and evil as I had assumed they would be. So, if that is a concern for you then let me reassure you that it’s not a terrifying, horror like read at all.

Some of the descriptive phrases in this book are beautiful but because of the setting it wasn’t a common feature throughout. The city of Amsterdam obviously not lending itself to wonderful description.

I read this book over a weekend and at some points definitely didn’t want to put it down. If you are looking for a book that is fascinating with a touch if the mysterious, but challenges some issues, then I would recommend this to you.

My friend said that the ending left her a little unsatisfied, and although I can see why she said that, I was happy with the ending.

I give this book 4 stars ****

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5 comments

  1. bookskeptic · January 31, 2016

    I enjoyed it a lot. You’re right the miniaturist seems to play smaller role that I expected, still probably she gives Nella the nudge to control her life more. I know we shouldn’t judge the book by the cover, but this one is one of the best I saw last year. Thanks for your review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • juliapike · January 31, 2016

      Thank you. I was worried I was going to be totally freaked out, but not at all. Glad you enjoyed it too

      Liked by 1 person

  2. RedHeadedBookLover · January 31, 2016

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    Liked by 1 person

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