The Miniaturist by jessie burton
This was an interesting reading experience, although I still wonder about it. The entire plot has so much to offer and it was a great mystery. As a reader, you always want to know more and every little detail that is left untold makes you want to know the truth of it.
The plot takes place in the late 15th Century in Amsterdam. There are great picturesque and sensuous descriptions of the city and the social conditions of this time. It is time when it is crucial for women to marry in order for them to survive. The young Nella gets married to Johannes Brandt and moves from her home town to Amsterdam, where she is going to live with Johannes and his sister, Marin. Johannes buys Nella a cabinet with miniature dolls and slowly strange things are happening in their house.
“The funeral is supposed to be a quiet affair, for the deceased had no friends. But words are water in Amsterdam, they flood your eyes and set the rot, and the church’s east corner is crowded”
Nella feels excluded from the rest of the family and has the feeling that there are always secrets luring in the shades. She does not feel as a wife and Johannes is always away, and when he is with her, there’s something that’s completely off. It’s an interesting reading experience and exciting to see how the plot evolves.
Jessie Burton has a specific and beautiful way of writing. As said before, her descriptions are vivid and beautifully put together. Several times you want to re-read passages just to see how the language blossoms.
“The canal path is empty, the ice a ribbon of white silk between the Herengracht houses. The moon above is larger than she has ever seen it, larger even than last night; an astonishing pale circle of power. It looks as if she could reach out and touch it – that God has pushed it down from the heavens for her human hand to hold”
It was a great book, although I thought the plot grew weaker with time. The reading was interesting in the beginning but by the end, it was a bit tough to get through. There’s no doubt that Jessie Burton is a very interesting and talented author, and a great story teller, but subjectively I would say that the book could have survived being half of its length.