The Miniaturist by Jessie BurtonThe Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist

byJessie Burton

Paperback | September 30, 2016

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"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 the 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.

Jessie Burton was born in London in 1982. She studied at Oxford University and the Central School of Speech and Drama, and still works as an actress in London. She lives in southeast London, not far from where she grew up.
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Title:The MiniaturistFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.04 inPublished:September 30, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443428469

ISBN - 13:9781443428460

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poorly written Slow, uninteresting, and flat characters... a total bore. Only the setting was sufficiently fleshed-out.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bailed and bailed hard boy oh boy...I ended up just giving up on this book when I hit the halfway mark. I could not for the life of me understand the point of it. The writing was...okay, not great but okay. The plot was just nonexistent. I could see the "surprise" about Johan's preferences coming from the beginning, there was nothing to interest me and I LOVE historical fiction and I LOVE Europe and I LOVE Denmark. This book was incredibly disappointing and mind numbing boring. At page 30, I had to switch audiobook because I just simply wouldn't keep reading...audiobook didn't help though. Big waste of time.
Date published: 2017-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting read Well there was too much hype created for the story so I decided to pick for reading. The synopsis were very interesting and I was expecting something else from the book but it turned out something else. Since it is well researched and well written, I'm giving generous four stars to the writing itself but the story... The centreline was good, the theme of miniaturist plotting everything in Nella's life was interesting but there were many loose ends at the end. 1. What happened to the piles of sugar loaves? 2. How did they raise Thea ? 3. Who was miniaturist and how her dolls were able to change their lives ? 4. What happened to miniaturist and how she knew everything ? 5. What was wrong with Agnes in the end ? 6. How did they all manage to live after Johannes ? 7. How was mini house taken out of Nella's pocket ? The writer didn't answer all these questions. I expected more mysteries to be resolved but there was none.
Date published: 2017-07-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it Bought this book because it sounded intriguing. I was not disappointed and would recommend this to anyone interested in good historical fiction.
Date published: 2017-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I expected more Well there was too much hype created for the story so I decided to pick for reading. The synopsis were very interesting and I was expecting something else from the book but it turned out something else. Since it is well researched and well written, I'm giving generous four stars to the writing itself but the story... The centreline was good, the theme of miniaturist plotting everything in Nella's life was interesting but there were many loose ends at the end. 1. What happened to the piles of sugar loaves? 2. How did they raise Thea ? 3. Who was miniaturist and how her dolls were able to change their lives ? 4. What happened to miniaturist and how she knew everything ? 5. What was wrong with Agnes in the end ? 6. How did they all manage to live after Johannes ? 7. How was mini house taken out of Nella's pocket ? The writer didn't answer all these questions. I expected more mysteries to be resolved but there was none.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but not amazing I'm not sure this book deserves all the hype it's received. It's a good book (well-written, likeable characters, and interesting ideas), but it wasn't mind blowing. I felt like the mystery of the miniaturist (who they were, how they knew what they knew, etc.) was a bit of a hole, which was disappointing as they're part in the story was a big part of the plot and something that drew me into the story.
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 3.75 stars-dark and dramatic 3.75 stars: THE MINIATURIST is an historical fiction storyline set in seventeenth century Amsterdam. Told from close third person POV, this is the story of newlywed Nella Oortman –an eighteen year old young woman whose new and much older husband –merchant trader-Johannes Brandt is emotionally distant but not unkind. As the days blend into weeks Nella learns there are secrets within the Brandt household that will change her life forever. But a gift from her husband of a miniature replica of their home will begin to foretell of a dark and dangerous future. With each new miniature piece that arrives, Nella fears that someone is watching their every move. The storyline follows a few months in the life of Petronella Oortman Brandt whose relationship with her husband is a matter of convenience. Left alone to her own devices, Nella begins to uncover family secrets hidden behind closed doors and secret rooms. Johannes reputation as a trader has garnered him a few loyal followers but it is his dalliances on the side that will see the beginning of the end. A negotiated promise of sales fails to produce the desired results and someone will seek revenge. THE MINIATURIST is a storyline that is set in 1686 around the time of the sugar cane plantation exploitation and slavery in the British West Indies. As the Dutch begin to import the candied sweet the business of trading and selling is one of critical survival. Here in lies a part of the storyline where Johannes Brandt’s personal and private life become fodder for public consumption-the politics and religion of the time will show no mercy. Johanne’s sister Marin plays a major role throughout the storyline but like Johanne she is emotionally distant and lacks any sort of literary color. Most of the household members remain static in their development but Johanne’s one time friends will play a role in his downfall. It is not until the end of the story that we get a glimpse into the Brandt family dynamics and the darker secrets that they share. THE MINIATURIST is a well written, dark and dramatic tale about family, betrayal, love and loss. It is a tragic look at life in the 1600s-from slavery to racism; judgment and religion; health, welfare and survival in a world where people have set themselves upon a pedestal of unreachable heights. The miniaturist is always in the background but never thoroughly explored-there are so many unanswered questions as to the who and why of the miniaturist’s involvement in the story--for all intents and purposes another storyline is required to clear up some of the mystery and to acknowledge to what purpose the miniaturist played in their lives. There is a hint of the paranormal with the miniaturist’s prophetic gifts.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great except for the weak ending I read this book and the reviews are right - if you like Tracy Chevalier, Kate Mosse etc, you'll absolutely dig this book.The writing, the historical research, they're all on point. Until you get to the end... it stops so abruptly with no decent conclusion. I can't even say "it left some strings untied" because that would be a lie. It left ALL strings untied! I won't give away details and spoilers here, but I was hugely disappointed with the ending :(
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Kept Coming Back I bought this book on a whim in an airport, and started reading it on the plane. It was all right to start, but I wasn't 100% convinced I would keep reading it. It sat on my bedside table for a bit, but I found that I kept coming back to the book over and over again. I ended up finishing it, and was happy to have done so. I think the writing is good and the story was interesting. I do have a personal connection to the Dutch, so maybe that was part of what kept me engaged.
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth a Try I paid $7 for this book, when it was on sale, and in my opinion it was worth the money. The book had a very slow start (took about 100 out of the 400 pages to get going), but after that there were multiple plot twists which definitely surprised me and kept me reading. Overall, it wasn't one of my favourites, but if you are interested in trade/Amsterdam/etc. it might be worth a shot.
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Unfinished This is a great read for those who love historical fiction, and a curiously layered mystery that unravels with each turning page. My only complaint about this book is that one particular question was left unanswered, and given the question's centrality to the story, I feel as though the absence of an answer to it left the tale incomplete; the essence of the story remains, but a lot of the magic was lost for me upon realizing that the author decided to keep one of the biggest mysteries a mystery.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Miniaturist I enjoyed this book very much. Having been in that very church and holidaying along the canal it was a special book to me.
Date published: 2015-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive While I know nothing of the true history of Amsterdam or its legal system, the story itself is a page turner and I found myself devouring this book. There is definitely an other worldly turn to the book but it is really a story about people and relationships. Sadly someone has posted spoilers on just one of several twists in the book. While that is one twist it is not the only nor is it the focal point of the story. This story offers up a cast of characters with many secrets and a look into how rigidly religious, overly moralistic and rule based societies can create many more problems and secrets. I loved this book and flew through it and now I am left wanting something similar.
Date published: 2015-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Satisfying except for the end Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The characters are vivid and interesting. However, the end I didn't enjoy because I didn't think it was very believable. By that I mean that it was too quick and vaguely explained. Otherwise I liked it.
Date published: 2015-04-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Waste of time This story is unrealistic and silly with a lot of unnecessary detail on what they did to Gay people in Amsterdam in the 17th century.
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Masterpiece Oh my goodness! This is one exceptionally incredibly good book! I cannot rave about it enough! The best way to describe The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is to call it heartrending novel with a great deal of mystery and a touch of magical fantasy. Rich with emotion and mystifyingly dark, this unique tale gripped me from the start and kept me turning each page, anxious to find out the secret of the miniaturist and the fate of the ever-evolving three-dimensional characters. The novel is set in 17th century Amsterdam and vividly depicts the social and economic living standards of the time. Eighteen year old Nella arrives in the city to the home of Johannes Brandt with whom a marriage has been arranged. But her groom is an enigma, odd in many ways, and distant, even though he is kind to her. Soon after the wedding, she receives a gift of a miniature replica of their home complete with furniture and little people resembling her, Johannes, and his sisters. She begins corresponding with the mysterious miniaturist, but is unable to discern who they are. The miniatures are not what they seem. In fact, they foretell the future. And it is this that adds tension and a great deal of conflict to the story. It is truly disconcerting. Through the miniatures, several dark secrets and tragedies occur, and Nella finds herself in a desperate frenzy to save those she loves. This is a clever, magnificently plotted novel. Although the opening chapters can be a little slow, with every page, the story unfolds and becomes ever more gripping. The dark secrets are revealed bit by bit, in a shocking way, so that one cannot help but race to the end. The story not only stirs up emotion, it shocks and sweeps the reader away with its opulent storyline. A truly magnificent novel, brilliantly written.
Date published: 2014-09-19

Editorial Reviews

'The Miniaturist is that rarest of things - beautifully written, yet also a compelling page-turner. It's haunting, magical, and full of surprises, the kind of book that reminds you why you fell in love with reading'- SJ Watson author of Before I Go To Sleep

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