August 26, 2014
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 life 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's gift helps Nella 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? Enchanting, beautifully written, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
Although I gave the book a fair chance by reading 44% of it before I finally DNf’d it I finally decided that it was time to DNF it as there was no part of the book that caught and kept my attention long enough for me to engage with it at all. Even the mystery element of the miniaturist who was creating the furniture for Nella for her dolls house didn’t capture me enough to make me want to find out who it was.
I really didn’t connect with any of the characters on any level at all, although I did like Nellla and the Maid, which made it very hard to even persevere with the book for as long as I did. I definitely didn’t like Nella’s husband and sister in law at all especially when I found out that they’d only arranged the marriage to cover up his sexual orientation. And as much as the historical, political and cultural elements in the book were interesting and helped to orient me as the reader I didn’t find them interesting enough to make me think Oh I must finish this book
It is for all the reasons above that I only gave the book a 1/5 star rating but although I didn’t enjoy this book enough to want to finish it I would still recommend it to/ buy it for any one who enjoys romantic historical mysteries.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley for Review purposes but this does not effect my Opinions on the book in any way at all.