In Amsterdam in the 1600's Nella, just eighteen has finally been wed under less than favorable circumstances. When she arrives to the home of her husband, she has every intention to be the best wife a man can hope for, but Johannes and her sister in law Marin thwart her at every turn. There are secrets within this house and a gift from her husband to cheer up his bride may just lead to their unveiling. When Nella hires a miniaturist to create furnishings for the cabinet that Johannes has gifted her, the items she receives start to predict a future Nella doesn't realize until it may be too late.
I am a lover of a good cover. I will 100% buy a book based solely off of the cover. I was scrolling through Waterstones looking to make my next order and they had an absolutely stunning paperback edition of this book to go along with the hardcover of book two that was coming out. After reading the title, I wanted it. I can't remember if I even read what the book was about (I'm sure I did) because once I was reading it I knew I would love it.
"The bars on our cage are of our own making." - Johannes Brandt
I hate the idea of messing up a pretty book on a first read, so I borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library. I started it around 5pm and stayed up until 2am finishing it. I literally could not stop listening, I had to find out what happened. At one point I was tempted to grab the book and break it open because I was already listening at 2x speed and the app I was in wouldn't go any faster.
The premise of this book is so incredibly interesting. It's a touch magical realism, a dash of mystery, and a lot of history. Through Nella you experience life in a new home, belonging to a family that couldn't be more unwelcoming. Feelings for all of the characters in the book, including Nella, ping pong between love and hate, just like in real life. Feelings for people aren't always linear, emotions and situations those people thrust you into can cause you to elevate them or lose all respect depending on the situation.
I definitely recommend this book for those who enjoy delving into the lives of others and the secrets they keep. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars for this well crafted mystery.
Masterpiece Theater ran a limited series (3 episode event) called The Miniaturist based on this book in 2017.
I was actually super excited to read this when I saw that it was starring Anya Taylor-Joy. Turns out that didn't really make a difference for me. I wasn't able to finish the show because it kept fairly close to the books and I had just finished reading them so it just felt a bit daunting. I would definitely suggest the show to those who don't want to read the book.
Do not read any further unless you want to have this book spoiled for you!
The second book in this series The House of Fortune brings us back into the Brandt household. In The Miniaturist we didn't get much insight into who the miniaturist is except for her name and who her father is. I have high hopes that we get to learn more about how she creates these mysterious pieces, who she is, and why she does what she does.