Winner of the Specsavers Book of the Year Award 2014
National Book Awards: New Writer of the Year 2014
Waterstones Book of the Year 2014
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.
Jessie Burton was born in 1982. She studied at Oxford University and the Central School of Speech and Drama, and has worked as an actress and a PA in the City. She now lives in south-east London, not far from where she grew up.
©2014 Jessie Burton (P)2014 Audible Studios
"A promising premise but something is missing"
I had high hopes on reading the blurb for this novel that it would be a historical novel of substance with a really engaging story. Unfortunately most of the characters are irritating and the main hook of the story - the mysterious miniaturist - is never adequately explained. I would have liked this character in particular to have been given more attention.
I was surprised that the story ended where it did and would have appreciated a few more chapters as it felt that several strands of storyline were unfinished.
Earnest but grating.
The ending left me feeling that the book was really an introduction to a future novel. There are too many unanswered questions for this to be a stand-alone novel.
While I was disappointed with the overall story, I did learn more about this period of Amsterdam history.
"too much information whilst lacking a resolution"
Frustrating. The ending lacked any form of satisfactory resolution . Too many questions left unaswered and for this man too much gynaelogical information . The male characters seem very pallid although the historical datail was ok . The miniaturist whilst mysterious was far too nebuleous and one was left wondering whether the author was saving plot for a sequel. If so I probably shant be buying it
To my women friends possibly, to my male friends probably not.
The narrator/author told the tale in a very ( overly) soulful way . Too droopy for my palate. From preference i would not listen to her again
Write my first book review. Just had to. Doing my grumpy old man thing
"Poor narration spoils the story"
An actor rather than the author reading it. Sorry Jessie, you may know all your characters inside out but you failed to bring them to life.
By the last chapter you realise that no satisfactory resolution could be contrived in so short a space. Maybe the author intends a sequel but that's deceiving the reader/listener and it is disappointing to get to the end of a book and find the story unfinished.
That's difficult as there aren't too many in it anyway. I found the miniaturist the oddest character. Her part in the story borders on the supernatural and we are no nearer to knowing or understanding her by the end except for the vague explanation that she was unusual in her thoughts and talented in her craft.
The story displays too many modern attitudes. I do expect historical accuracy in historical fiction other wise it's just a story in costume. There are too many unexplained happenings leaving too many threads left dangling.
The storyline is written in quasi fairy tale mode.
The hidden mysteries in a young marriage.
Beautifully read by the author Jessie Burton so that it is heard as the author intended.
Much more than a dolls house.
Charming. Could not put it down.
"The Miniaturist Or A Bride For Appearances Sake!"
I liked the story line, it was different. I enjoyed the social history, though in reality, I didn't find much of this.
I thought some ends were made to tie up, they didn't feel like natural outcomes.
I didn't think that the author read her book as well as an actor might have done.
This was a good book. Sadly unlike some, I didn't think it was a brilliant book. Maybe reading it myself, I might have given it a better score. I would read/listen to other books by this author.
"If you love me, you will obey my commandments"
Eighteen away from home, married out of necessity, in a new city, in a new home a home of secrets, a home of lies and the whispers of a magical artisan that recreates life in miniscule dolls.
Amsterdam 1786 at first seems benevolent and tranquil, the protagonists all appear at face value to be willing participants of the period the culture and move with in it with little or no apparent resentment, but as the story moves forward we see the heavy hand of culture and religion, stifling, suffocating, imposing its reality on all; even those that feel free and secure, are made to face the force that controls all. The moral majority are even now hammering away at individual freedoms,and religions like then are hard at work trying to control humanity, sexuality, thought it self.
This is a book lets you in easy and lets you out perhaps with more question in your heart, than answers about the protagonists. The period is described without drowning you in facts but by exposing you to everyday life the alien past, and the common humanity.
A very interesting book,with more depth than at first apparent.
"Thought provoking book."
A thought provoking book which casts an interestingly spectre on a complex period of history. Characters are well drawn and the use of language impressive. I found the narration flat, and felt it hindered the pace of the book, making it hard work. Overall an interesting purchase but not a great one.
No favourite characters, rather a series of portraits of people whose circumstances, politics and economics, religion and cultures and are of a time where the world was fast changing, and prejudice and ignorance created terror for many.
I found the narration flat and rather grating I am afraid.
Thought provoking, and with resonances for aspects of our world today.
"great book didn't want to put it down"
defiantly recommend this book, although when she's reading the book it can be irritating when she swallows, because it's off putting.
Really interesting story with likeable characters and an unexpectedly dramatic course of events. Well narrated with lots of twists in the story!
This is a gripping and well researched book, which brings to life 17thC Amsterdam. I really enjoyed listening to it, although at the same time found some aspects unsatisfying. For instance, how did the central character, Petronella, come to love and be so loyal to her new and unconventional family when they were so careless, even cruel, with her? How did she manage to stand outside the mores of her time, having an almost modern sensibility with regard to race and sexual politics, given their alienating disregard for her future? And I found the resolution of the mystery of the Miniaturist, frankly, mystifying. Having said that, the story was really interesting, and the evocation of the period really stirred my imagination. Obviously well researched and an enjoyable listen.
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