“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 realizes 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.”
I’ve been racking my brains about how to describe this novel and the word ‘curiosity’ keeps springing to mind. Nella’s journey throughout is a curious expedition through her eyes, her new families and of course, the miniaturist’s. This book is like peeping through keyholes to unveil a set of surprising and supressed secrets.
Even though this novel is set in the late 17th century I didn’t feel like I was reading a work of historical fiction. Of course the references were there, and the scene was set to perfection, but the language Burton uses brings this story to the present, appealing to a broad audience of historical fiction, mystery and modern literature fans.
Historical fiction can be repetitive in nature, however, this debut by Burton really is uniquely special; lingering in your memory for weeks after finishing the last page. It hasn’t been since Hannah Kent’s utterly superb and haunting Burial Rites that a novel has affected me in quite the same way.
I am very excited to have discovered a new author to follow in Burton, and I eagerly anticipate her next novel.
So Jessie, what’s it going to be next!?
The Miniaturist is currently avalible to pre-order and will be available from 3rd July 2014.