The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. One to savour.


Publication Date: 3rd July 2014 from Picador.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy.

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 . . .

I’m actually not really sure what to say about The Miniaturist that could genuinely tell you how wonderful it is….this is one of those books that come along every so often that you fall totally in love with, even as it stomps all over your heart and soul..Whilst I was reading this one I was absolutely immersed in another time and place, as Nella’s world came to life around me. I was dazed and a bit tearful when I came to the end of it, and spent a good portion of time wandering without anchor. Thats how absolutely evocative and compelling it was.

Its an interesting one to be sure, because what you see is almost certainly not what you will get, it is beautifully unexpected in places with a gentle flow to the writing style that holds you within. A most remarkable debut indeed –  a masterclass in the use of language to stir the senses and the emotional core of a reader and make them lose themselves in the story, this is one that will stay with you long after it has finished.

The background, the fate of women in that time and the political and social attitudes of the day are so well woven within the plot, just simply there, the incredible descriptive prose lets you see exactly where things are occurring, and the characterisation is absolutely exceptional. As Nella explores her new life, comes to realisations about what is going on around her, you will be with her all the way. Marin is a remarkable woman, as is Cordelia, all three of these characters so different and yet all bound together by fate in often unanticipated ways. Magnificent.

I’m fairly sure I still havent even touched on how good this is. But thats all you get I’ve done my best. Just be sure to add this one to your reading lists and find yourselves a comfortable bolthole away from this world and enter the world of 1686 Amsterdam…

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…..

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Happy Reading Folks!

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