One of the many books I read over the summer holidays was “The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton. This was a book I was looking forward to reading for a long time, after hearing a lot about it online so I thought it would only be fair to take it with me on holiday.
The book is set in Amsterdam in the 1660’s, and is about a young girl called Nella, who arrives in the city to start her new life with her husband, Johannes. The house is big, and Nella struggles to find her position in the house, as it is made difficult by Johannes’ sister, Marin. When Johannes buys Nella a miniature version of the house, Nella decides to get a few miniature items to put inside. However, Nella receives more than she asked for…
I really liked the idea of the story, and it had a strong plot, with many twists throughout. I definitely wanted to keep reading, as I wanted to find out what happened next to all of the characters, not only the protagonist. Overall, I was quite surprised at how mysterious the book was as a whole, which definitely intrigued me from the start.
On the other hand, I did get annoyed with Nella. For me, she seemed too naive, which is probably because of her age, but I found it hard to read her narrative. I really didn’t like the style that “The Miniaturist” was written in (3rd person, present tense)… It wasn’t a style that I had read before and for me it didn’t really feel right. There were times when some thins that were meant to be foreshadowing something later on were fairly obvious, but in saying that, there were a couple of plot twists that I wasn’t expecting at all. Finally, I don’t think the title was really suitable, because we never actually meet the miniaturist. I understand that this character is meant to be mysterious, but I felt that there were other themes that were more important than the miniatures.
I probably wouldn’t read this book again unless I had to, because it was a little bit disappointing. But, as always, this is only my opinion!