The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
It is 1686 in Amsterdam. It is cold, damp and an alien environment to eighteen-year-old Nella who has journeyed there from the countryside to join her husband at his home. He is nice enough, welcoming and bestowing gifts and praise upon her at their second meeting. Yet there is something odd going on in the house. Her sister-in-law is forbidding, the servants are nice but closemouthed and she hasn’t seen her husband for more than a few hours at a time, leaving their union unconsummated.
To make up for his absence Nella’s new husband has a miniature house delivered and hopes she will be entertained with furnishing it. She contacts a miniaturist she finds in the city directory and commissions a few small pieces. The pieces she asked for arrive and so do some more; items that seem to predict events in the household before they happen.
I am still left with questions after finishing this book which is something that I like and I know others really don’t appreciate. The book is a slow starter, I almost gave up on it, but it is a good suspense story if you can mull through the first seventy-five pages or so. You learn a lot about the life of a high level merchant in the Dutch East India Company and his family and the lack of power that females had in this time of commerce, as well as religious oppression and the constant public scrutiny wealthy families experienced.
Sound like something you would want to read? Place your holds now! The book comes out on the 26th of August.