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The Miniaturist | [Jessie Burton]

The Miniaturist

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (20 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.3 (19 )
5 star
 (10)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.2 (17 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    mgn london 06-15-15
    mgn london 06-15-15 Member Since 2015

    Bookworm

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unfulfilling"

    The story sounded boring from the summaries I read before purchasing the book. It's my book club June choice so I got it. The book is better than I had anticipated and surprisingly flowed well. Overall it feels inconclusive. Hence unfulfilling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fliss 03-19-15
    Fliss 03-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fantastic book well read"

    Such an imaginative and compellingnovel. It had me hooked from the very start and invested in every single one of the characters. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn 01-12-15
    Robyn 01-12-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very compelling book"

    I enjoyed this very much, an intriguing Gand complex tale. But what about the end??? What happens next I wonder

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • missreader
    Scotland
    8/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A promising premise but something is missing"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    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.


    What three words best describe Jessie Burton’s performance?

    Earnest but grating.


    Do you think The Miniaturist needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    While I was disappointed with the overall story, I did learn more about this period of Amsterdam history.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. J. C. Sutton
    uk
    9/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "too much information whilst lacking a resolution"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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


    Would you recommend The Miniaturist to your friends? Why or why not?

    To my women friends possibly, to my male friends probably not.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jessie Burton?

    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


    Did The Miniaturist inspire you to do anything?

    Write my first book review. Just had to. Doing my grumpy old man thing


    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Wras
    Kildonan
    12/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.



    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Chrissie
    8/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking book."
    What made the experience of listening to The Miniaturist the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I found the narration flat and rather grating I am afraid.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Thought provoking, and with resonances for aspects of our world today.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Anne
    7/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enchanting"
    What did you like most about The Miniaturist?

    The storyline is written in quasi fairy tale mode.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The hidden mysteries in a young marriage.


    What does Jessie Burton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Beautifully read by the author Jessie Burton so that it is heard as the author intended.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Much more than a dolls house.


    Any additional comments?

    Charming. Could not put it down.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Annie
    Brentwood, United Kingdom
    1/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Miniaturist Or A Bride For Appearances Sake!"
    What did you like most about The Miniaturist?

    I liked the story line, it was different. I enjoyed the social history, though in reality, I didn't find much of this.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I thought some ends were made to tie up, they didn't feel like natural outcomes.


    What does Jessie Burton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I didn't think that the author read her book as well as an actor might have done.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • J
    9/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor narration spoils the story"
    What would have made The Miniaturist better?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jessie Burton’s performances?

    Definitely not.


    What character would you cut from The Miniaturist?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    15 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    4/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for me, but it might be for you..."
    What would have made The Miniaturist better?

    Difficult to say. Set in 17th Century Amsterdam, the characters truly replicate that period of history. Therefore the conclusion to the story all listeners will crave for, simply doesn't happen. The characters stay true to form.


    What was most disappointing about Jessie Burton’s story?

    All of it to be honest. Just not my cup of tea, but I picked it because of the rave reviews and I have a wide and varied interest in literature.....but not this book, sorry.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jessie Burton?

    Not sure. It would need to be set in another century, dimension, style...


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    I never really understood what the Minnaturist was all about. Was she a red herring or does it carry a far deeper meaning that lost me completely at the end. It was a story of a dysfunctional family, laced with tragedy and loss. Made me quite miserable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • LAURA
    london, United Kingdom
    8/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I cant imagine


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jessie Burton again?

    Probably not


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jessie Burton’s performances?

    DEFINITELY NOT! Her narration was awful, and if it had been a decent tale, her narration would have spoilt it.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was so looking forward to listening to this book, the synopsis held such promise, but it was a novel where much happened, in a very short period of time, but it went no-where, I felt nothing for the characters, or the totally unbelievable storyline, the explanation of the miniaturist was a non event. The imagery was horribly laboured, and forced.
    It was as if the novel had been written and read by a precocious 12 year old.
    I'm just glad it was on offer and I didn't waste a credit on it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P. Wagg
    Derby UK
    8/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "too sad"

    an interesting enough story confirming that we'd all be better off without religions bigots but too too sad an ending

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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