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
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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.
"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.
"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.
"Interesting and Original"
A quirky tale and a great, old fashioned story.
Sadly the author chose to read it herself. She's not a bad speaker but a professional would have really enhanced the story and made it a real pleasure. I nearly didnt continue with the book after a few minutes because of this, but I'm glad that I persisted.
"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
"Utterly absorbing.....until the ending."
I couldn't "put this down" (audio) and loved the atmosphere of mystery and suspense that the writer immediately invoked, also the mental image of 17th century Amsterdam that Jessie Burton cleverly conjured up.
But I didn't really understand the ending, and it didn't seem to suit the rest of the story. So I listened to the last chapter again...and again..... I must be missing something and perhaps need to join a book club. Still, this review is for a good listen: it's rare that a writer can read their work as well, but JB's voice is magical and compelling, so in that respect 5 stars.
"Very interesting but..."
I found the story fascinating as an interesting description of life in the 1600 Holland and in the description of the characters. However I would have liked to know more about the miniaturist and the effect of her work on the life of the people she touched. I felt that that side of the story was underdeveloped and almost not related to the main plot.
"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.
"Fairy tale qualities beautifully written"
I decided to purchase this book based on the hype surrounding it over the summer.
I agree with other reviewers that the narrative would be enhanced by a trained professional. However I personally feel that the narrative by the author added to my enjoyment of the story.
The book is beautifully written and draws the reader in from the beginning. I found the time in history the location and the characters so interesting and the fact that the author did not spell out everything added to my enjoyment. I felt Nella was particularly insightful and strong especially given her young age. I so enjoyed reading about the miniaturist and the miniature house.
The story had some fairy tale/magic qualities to it yet I felt the circumstances of their lives was so sad and this continued to the end. Many reviewers said that the ending was ambiguous. I felt that it ended at the right time and I had a feeling of an ending. Even though all questions were not answered I felt enough was revealed. I so loved this book overall and would highly recommend it.
"amazing, read with such passion. Different."
The author reading the book made a difference. wonderful unusual story. love the period setting.
not at all
this book opens your eyes to a past more modern than you think.
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