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Published March 4th 2017
Once again, I missed all the hype with The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I did not buy it when it first came out. I did not give in to the promotions of this book and numerous reviews.
If you ask me now, I won't be able to tell you why and when I finally gave in, succumbed to the calling of the title and of the picture on the cover.
The Miniaturist. Australian cover. Courtesy of Goodreads
The preview by Picador says the following about the book:
There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.
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 realises 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?
Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
Well, I am yet to make up my own mind. I am loving it so far. I am enjoying the language. The language is deep and absorbing. It's like expensive dark chocolate: covers the inside of you mouth/head, it rolls all over… The language is so surprisingly good and interesting that I've picked several phrases that can become quotes already…
I just looked at the date I've started this post – a month ago. It took me a month to finish this book. I just did, literary a minute ago. It took me a while, didn't it. It turned out to be a heavy book. When I say heavy, I do not mean difficult to read or boring, far from it. The Miniaturist is consuming, entangling, engrossing, absorbing, penetrating and repelling at the same time.
The narration is like a downward spiral into doom and gloom. You really ought to get off but you can't. You absolutely have to see it to the end, hoping against all hope for something bright, light and positive at the end of it.
Without revealing too much of the story, I can only say that this book has everything to make you question your own happiness and contentment, your own goodness and righteousness, your morals and your dreams.
When you want to be happy, do you think of others around you? When you start a journey do you include others in your prospective calculations? When you want the truth, do you think of other people's feelings?
When you live your life, are you really sure no one is watching, directing or puppeteering?
Just over half way through and loving this book even though there is very little to love about the characters. It's a book that is genuinely keeping me guessing when there are very few books where I don't guess the end.