“On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .”
I mentioned this book a couple of months ago in one of my book hauls and I just finally got around to reading it. It is a historical fiction novel set in 17th century Amsterdam. I would say that it would fit quite well into the mystery genre as well as there are quite a few mysteries that our main character Nella has to solve about her new home and family. There are also small traces of the paranormal or at least the other worldly going on too but not enough to make this book fit in those genres. This book is interesting!
I am sort of new to the world of historical fiction but compared to other books I have read from that genre this book is absolutely fantastic. I flew through it in two days because I was completely hooked on it from the beginning. I just had to know what was going on with the family and the miniatures. You also ended up caring so much about the characters and their development it very realistic and consistent, especially when it comes to the sister-in-law Marin.
I’m a little annoyed this book is a stand alone because I wish I could find out what happened to the family after the events of the novel occurred. If you like historical fiction or are interested in giving the genre a go I would highly recommend this book. I can certainly see why it was on so many Best Seller’s lists.
Also I have never read anything set in the 17th century before. I normally have a preference for anything Victorian so I found this book to be a nice change. Also it wasn’t set in the usual locations of England or America like most historical novels I have seen. I knew nothing about 17th century Amsterdam before I read this book so it was very interesting. My copy also came with a historical dictionary in the back so I could look up anything I was unfamiliar with or confused about. It was pretty cool.
I want to point out though that this book is an adult novel. It has quite a few sexual themes and it has its graphic and gory moments, as well as adult situations. So if you are younger or you are a little senstive to those sorts of things this book might not be for you.
The only downside to this book that I found was the ending. I don’t think the ending was wrapped up very well and some important events were glossed over a little bit, but other than that I loved it.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 starts on GoodReads.com. It lost a star due to my issues with the ending like I explained above. If you want a good historical fiction novel set you need to check this book out.
So what about you, have you read The Miniaturist? If so what did you think of it? Do you have any good historical novels to recommend? Feel free to let me know below.
Oh and I haven’t been posting things for a few months and I have gained a few followers since then so I will leave a link to my GoodReads account here in case any one wants to give me an add so we can all love on books together.