TITLE: The Miniaturist
AUTHOR: Jessie Burton
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adult
RATING: 5/5 Stars
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?
What I Liked:
- Okay there are so many things I can put here for this bit, but I'll start with my favourite. Jessie Burton's writing. I completely fell in love with it the moment that I started reading. Many of you will know that feeling you get when you read good writing and it was the best I've read in a while. Whether the moment that she wrote about was a twist that left me gaping, or a quieter moment for reflection, Burton's writing was on point and I want so badly for her to write more books for me to read.
- The plot twists in this were really good. They weren't predictable or unbelievable, and they certainly weren't boring. I actually didn't expect many of the directions that this book took me down and I'm so glad that I finally got to read a Mystery book that mystified me!
- The characters were interesting. They had distinct personalities and I always managed to keep track of who was who and my thoughts on them. There was a fairly small cast in this book, but a fascinating one! Burton kept me distant though, and didn't allow me to get too attached to anyone. In any other book I could mark this as a bad thing, but for this one it felt right. It made me empathise with Nella's situation even more than I would have done in other cases, not knowing who to trust and being out of control.
What I Disliked:
- I suppose my only real niggle was that the main, over-riding plot arc of the book was not properly resolved. This was a purposeful move for a good reason, but that doesn't mean I have to like it! It left me with unanswered questions that I know will never be answered and that's just upsetting!
There were so many amazing things about this book and it's the best I have read in a while! I loved the quirky characters, interesting setting (and may I say, much research went into this book) and fantastic plot. Burton's writing was nothing short of incredible and I am anxious to read more of her work. I don't even care that the ending didn't answer all my questions (at least, that's what I'm telling myself) because this book was too good to be ignored.