Sunday, February 8, 2015

Review of "The Miniaturist" by Jessie Burton

Happy Sunday! I'm glad that this is the first review of the year, since it was such a great read.  Also since it takes place in a wintry, icy, and somewhat grim-faced city - which is basically what DC looks like right now (sob).  Has anyone else noticed how dismal the weather is in February and March? Here's hoping for winds that blow away the winter, and in more great reads.

Basic plot: (from Goodreads) 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 changed 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...

On a scale from 1 to Cripplingly Depressing: Minimal!

Memories from reading: I listened to this book a lot as I was washing the dishes late at night, and while cleaning (weird, but true).  I loved the voices the narrator gave the characters, though others might find them strange - she has a very distinct way of speaking.

Teeth-gnashing: Nothing that I can think of.

Favorite parts: I loved the rich descriptions and vivid characters, the feel of Amsterdam that she built - the canals, the cold, the smells, and the descriptions of sugary treats.  I didn't even mind the unexpected development in the story.  All of it left me wanting to stay with the characters as the book ended, to know what happened next.  Did Johannes really know his sister? The secrets she kept? Was he untruthful about his experiences? What really happened between Johannes, Frans, and Marin?

Weapon of Choice: This was one I started as an audiobook, then moved to hardcover when the audiobook expired on OverDrive.

Other titles by this author: None - this is her debut.

More reviews of The Miniaturist from Leah at Books Speak Volumes and Catherine at The Gilmore Guide.

Have you read The Miniaturist? What did you think?


  1. AWESOME review...such wonderful descriptions of it. Love the paragraph headings you used. :)

    I have this book but haven't read it.

    ENJOY your reading week.


    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Those headings are the things I want to remember about a book :) It was a fun read.