by Jessie Burton
Narrator: Davina Porter
Published by Ecco on August 26th 2014
Length: 13 HRS 17 MINS
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Genres: Fiction, General, Historical
"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed..."
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 . . .
Johannes' gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?
Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
Nella weds an older man, Johannes, and moves to his home in Amsterdam. In the house, secrets are second nature, and each one of the characters has at least one.
Nella receives a bridal gift – a large, beautiful, very detailed cabinet. Inside the cabinet is a perfect replica of the house she now lives in. So, she contacts the miniaturist via letters, and this miniaturist begins to send Nella perfect and identical replicas of the furniture in the house, the people in Nella’s life, and even the animals that reside in the home. These miniature characters and furnishings are exact and beautiful. They also appear to change with the current events!
Nella is suspicious and anxious when she discovers the likenesses and the changes that happen to the dolls. Especially when she discovers the enormous secrets her husband and sister-in-law are holding. Nella now knows the life or death circumstances in which she’s now privy, and she must tread carefully lest the rest of the city folk find out!
As I mentioned, this novel held so much promise for me! It’s written beautifully and the with the finest detail. Then it was over. I wasn’t sure if I understood what happened, but that could just be my fault. There were pieces missing and major characters who ends weren’t tied. I had gotten to know these characters, right down to her parakeet, and I didn’t know what happened to any of them. Perhaps there’s a sequel to The Miniaturist and all of my questions will be answered?
Ms. Jessie Burton, if you should happen upon this little review, please release a second book that details what happens next to your precious characters and also fills in the gaps!
In essence, I did enjoy this book. Although the gaps might be explained in a sequel. Bring on a sequel!