Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Dusty Pages Review: The Miniaturist

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?

 I picked up this book after watching the BBC adaptation that was televised over the Christmas period hoping that there would be more to the book and the ending would be more satisfying than how the two episode mini series left off. I was sadly disappointed. Though it was nice to see that an adaptation had kept so closely to the original material, I was still left unsatisfied with the ending. So much had happened over the course of the book, you are left wondering what happens to the characters next, how do they survive the tragedy but my questions were left unanswered.

However, despite this, the book is a very enjoyable read. I liked the story a great deal, the characters were engaging and I can see exactly why it ended up on the best sellers list for so long. The setting is wonderfully described and the mystery that the miniaturist presents is intriguing. Poor Nella has so many things to deal with at such a young age that you wonder how she copes. She at times seems more modern a woman than the setting and times in which she lives. I find this a common thing in historically themed novels as we cannot truly know how any person in bygone times would have reacted to the situations the authors imagination presents.

I was left wanting more, which can be viewed as both a good and a bad thing. Good because it shows how well written a book it is but bad because there doesn't seem to be any sign that the story will continue and we will ever know what happens to the remaining cast of characters.

I give it

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