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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton


The Miniaturist has one of the most strikingly beautiful covers I’ve seen for a long time, so much so that I was compelled to buy the hardback version. The edition I bought also came with a matching bookmark which pleased me greatly! Small things!  The strap line, ‘there is nothing is hidden that will not be revealed’ was also irresistible and extremely good marketing!

This is the story of Petronella Oortman and her beautiful miniature replica of her home in 17th Century Amsterdam. Nella arrives in the city, aged eighteen, and recently married to a much older man whom she barely knows. She starts to explore Amsterdam and the strange household she has joined, but complex secrets are waiting to overcome everyone in it. At the centre of everything stands her miniature house, a wedding gift, that may be the answer to some of the secrets or perhaps just the start of the gathering shadows. I was utterly gripped by Nella’s story; embarrassingly and annoyingly I actually missed my train stop home because I was so engrossed! The writing is beautiful and the premise, of the doll’s house echoing life, was deeply appealing.

However, just a few pages from the end, it all started to go a bit wrong for me. The last pages felt rushed and unsatisfying. I usually enjoy a few tantalising loose ends at the end of stories, but in this case there were just too many to work in my opinion. It was less tantalising and more just messy. It is such a shame, because otherwise it was wonderful and had such promise. I understand that there was a bidding war for this book, which up until the last few pages I can completely understand. Ultimately though, the strap line did not fulfil its promises as there was still an awful lot not revealed! Have you read The Miniaturist? Did you agree about the loose ends?

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