Thursday, 31 May 2018

Book Review - The Miniaturist

Title: The Miniaturist
Author: Jessie Burton
Publisher: Picador
Release Date: 1 Jan. 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1447250937


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, Jessie Burton's magnificent debut novel The Miniaturist is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

My Review

I saw adverts on the TV over Christmas for the adaption of this book and it looked interesting, but I am one of those people who has to read the book first. So I ordered it from the library. I got the Spoken Word version as I didn’t really have time to read the book at this point so thought I could have it on in my car on the way to and from work every day (I have about a 35 minute drive each way so it shouldn’t take me too long)
Needless to say it took me longer than I thought as I car-shared occasionally and some days I opted for the radio instead, so by the time I had finished it, I had missed the TV adaption and still haven’t been able to look it up to watch. However I did finish listening to the book and have to say I enjoyed it much more than I expected to.
When I first started it, I wasn’t hooked straight away and struggled to get into the story, but I persevered and soon I was invested in the characters and their stories. Nella is very endearing and although comes across quite shy and weak, she’s not afraid to stand up for herself. I hated Marin at first, it was like she had sucked lemons and I wanted to tell her to lighten up but as the story progressed I found myself liking her and wishing the best for her.
Although the book is called ‘The Miniaturist’ you never actually meet that person, she is mentioned and spotted in crowds but never actually appears fully. Yet she has a vast influence over Nella and the events of the book, and will have you as the reader desperate to know more. The characters are all very strong and different in their own right and I felt myself hoping they would all get a happy ending.
Without giving any spoilers, I found the ending really sad and in a way not fully finished. I wanted to know what would become of them in the end. I have to say though, that I figured out who the father of the baby was quite early on – the big revelation wasn’t really a surprise for me, in fact to me it was totally obvious.
It’s an enjoyable read though with many plot twists that will keep you hooked. Warning for younger readers – some scenes are quite graphic and there is sexual content.
Overall I am glad I managed to read it and I can understand why there has been so much hype around this book, it was very well written and thoroughly enjoyable.

My Rating

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