The Miniaturist By Jessie Burton
This was a cover buy for me, i dont cover buy often but i could resist how beautiful this book was. Upon reading the blurb i was pleasantly surprised as it was set in the 1600's and in Amsterdam, 2 of my goals this year were to read more European literature and to read more historical fiction so i hit the jackpot with this one!
This book centers around Nella a country girl who is married off to a rich businessman and must move to live with him in Amsterdam. Her husband is 39 year old Johannes who is a successful merchant. She arrives in Amsterdam and is greeted by Johannes sister Marin who is a strict and proud woman who is quick to exert her status within the home. She is also greeted by Cornelia and Otto the household servants.
When Johannes presents Nella with a doll house which is an exact replica of their home as a wedding gift, Nella seeks the help of a miniaturist in order to furnish the house. When said miniaturist begins to receive items that she does not order she becomes suspicious that the items are identical to their life size twins that are already present in the home. Nella becomes suspicious that someone may be spying on them.
This book is so much than a simple story of a miniaturist, the story also sees Nella try to integrate and find her place within this home and society but also her struggle to connect with her new husband. Among a plethora of other issues such as religion and race. I was not expecting the twists that happened, i was expecting a light mystery but there was so many heart wrenching moments with a lot of secrets thrown in.
Nella as a protagonist was wonderful, she was not over exaggerated or head strong, the book clearly depicted how she became independent and learned how to stand up for herself.
My main critique was how liberal some characters were which for the 17th century i felt was a tad unrealistic. I wanted to keep this as spoiler free as possible as there is a lot of twists packed in those 400 pages! All in all a 3.25 out of 5 stars from me. Beautiful and tragic. Also re read the first chapter when you finish, it makes so much more sense!