The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam--a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion--a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant."There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . ."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 Brand...

Details The Miniaturist

TitleThe Miniaturist
Release DateAug 26th, 2014
PublisherEcco Press
Number of pages400 pages
GenreHistorical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Fantasy, Adult, Magical Realism, Adult Fiction, Audiobook, Literature, 17th Century

Reviews The Miniaturist

  • Lucy Bignall
    I found this book very confusing and the hype of it, even more so.For one thing, I found it very readable - very hard to put down. On the other hand, I found the characters very unbelievable. I thought it highly unconvincing that an eighteen year old girl from the country would have had such wisdom and assurance and grown to have such acceptance and respect for Johannes as quickly as Nella did - especially as there was very little record of the t...
  • Regan
    4.5 really really beautiful. I was going to give it 4 stars but then I reread the first chapter after I finished AND IT WAS SO GOOD IN CONTEXT.
  • karen
    I love you. I love you. From back to front, I love you.this is an remarkably polished and transporting debut novel that has been compared to sarah waters. which comparison alone should be enough for you to give it a shot, but i'll continue to blather on a bit in case you need more takes place in amsterdam, in 1686, during that city's golden age, when it was incredibly wealthy because of its trading capabilities, but there was sti...
  • Will Byrnes
    News Flash! The BBC has bought in, and will be airing a three-part series of The Miniaturist, for broadcast some time in 2017. The death of Nella Oortman’s father left the family in difficult straits, saddled with unexpected debts and a declining standard of living. But the widow finds a suitable match for Nella, in a successful Amsterdam merchant and trader. As he travels extensively, the wedding is a quick affair, and it is a month before he ...
  • Jeffrey Keeten
    ”Behold,as the stars of heaven for multitude….How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance,and your burden, and your strife?”Deuteronomy 1:10-12 The Miniature Petronella OortmanPetronella Oortman is barely eighteen years old in 1686 when she marries a rich merchant named Johannes Brandt and moves to his house in Amsterdam. It is unnerving to move so far away from her relatives and all the people she has known her entire life, but it is also e...
  • Leah Beecher
    This book was very annoying. I kept persevering, oh yes, I did. Chapter after chapter, night after exhausting night when common sense was telling me to go chuck the book across the room and get some much needed sleep. Why? Because I wanted to know who the bloody Miniaturist was of course! Spoiler alter: you never really find out, not really anyway. It is very vague. I even went back and read the cryptic first chapter upon finishing the thing thin...
  • Leanne
    3 stars is a difficult rating for me. When I look at the vast number of 3-starrers I've got sitting on my shelves, there is a definite divide between ones I sped through at the time but that left no lasting impression, ones that I did enjoy but just found too silly or amateur-ish to rate higher, and ones that I was highly anticipating and just failed to live up to such lofty expectations. Of any category, The Miniaturist probably falls into the l...
  • Ferdy
    SpoilersCould have been great, the premise sounded really intriguing and unique.. Unfortunately, the story was plain nonsensical and filled with tedious characters who were obsessed with sugar.-I couldn't stand Nella, she was an irritating, passive, embarrassing and insipid main character. She was also a right thicko, she missed so many obvious things that were right in front of her. How on Earth did she miss her husband being gay? Or Thea being ...
  • Helen Stavraki
    Αυτή η ιστορία που ξεκινάει πολλα υποσχόμενη,κυρίως μας προϊδεάζει για σκοτεινά μυστικά,υπερφυσικές ικανότητες,πνιγηρες και ανομολόγητες συνομωσίες οικογενειακού και κοινωνικού πλαισίου και φυσικά για μια κρυφή σαγηνευτική απεικονηση μυστηρ...
  • Amalia Gavea
    ''But words are water in Amsterdam, they flood your ears and set the rot'' When you visit the Rijksmuseum, one of the exhibits that is certain to attract your attention, is the beautiful dollhouse of Petronella Oortman, a creation of exquisite beauty. When I visited Amsterdam a few years ago, the book hadn't been published yet. Now, Jessie Burton's novel has come to add another thread in the glorious veil of mystery that surrounds this marvellous...
  • Bookdragon Sean
    I tried to read this around six months ago and couldn’t get past the first page. I tried again a month ago and gave up after the first chapter. Finally, I tried one more time last night. I got past the first page, and the first chapter, and finished the whole damn thing in one seven hour sitting. Suffice to say, my perseverance paid off because I really liked this book.My advice: push through the initial awkwardness of the prose.Ok, so the phra...
  • Blair
    Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.At some point within the past couple of years, I've lost the passion I used to have for historical fiction. Looking back on the historical novels I've enjoyed in recent times, I can see that they all have some element of another genre or type of book I haven't yet got sick of - the ghost story, the unreliable narrator tale, something with just a sprinkling of fantasy. There was a time when I used t...
  • B the BookAddict
    AMENDED REVIEWHonestly, at pg 115, I wanted to stop reading it. I do tire of novels with a ‘Mrs Danveresque’ character. Burton is using lots of flowery turns of phrase but lacking in the story-telling department. This feels so unpolished, almost like a first draft, it lacks substance.17th century Holland is ripe with historical detail and features but Burton has not used this to her advantage. And what are pattens? You may not know. Yes, you ...
  • Wendy Darling
    3.5 stars Quite lovely in parts, but I found this strangely lacking in emotional complexity. It also bears the weight of the legacy of many other stories before it that touch on similar plot elements or themes, so that two of the three most central mysteries don't come as surprises at all. And the third? The third is left unexplained. A bit more of a review to come.
  • Violet wells
    One thing I learned from reading this novel is that clearly most readers are better at suspending disbelief than I am. At times the plotting of this book was so preposterous and highly excitable that it seemed to me like the literary equivalent of pantomime. A wild man in pantomime clothes stabs a painting, then he stabs a dog, then he in turn is stabbed by an equally exotic piratical character, he seems to be dying but then suddenly reverts back...
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    Final review, first posted on the fall of 1686, eighteen year old Petronella (Nella), newly wed in a hastily arranged marriage, arrives on the doorstep of her husband's fine home in Amsterdam, and finds herself, like second Mrs. de Winter in Rebecca, in over her head, in a home where there are strange undercurrents and dark secrets swirling around. Her twenty-plus years older husband, Johannes Brandt, is kind but most...
  • Annet
    Enjoyed this book, really entertaining story of 17th century Amsterdam and the adventures of Petronella, newly wed young wife of a rich merchant living at the 'Herengracht' in Amsterdam. The adventures however did not turn out what she expected...It's a rather dark and sad story, but beautifully told and beautifully characterizes Amsterdam of those could feel the cold of winter and the frozen canals throug the pages... Loved it. And t...
  • Dem
    3.5 stars.Set in Amsterdam in the late 17th century the Miniaturist is an interesting story. We are drawn to a city of hidden opulence and religious repression. Eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman enters a prosperous, but loveless marriage, with the merchant Johannes Brandt. When her husband presents her with a replica cabinet house Nella finds that she is living her life throughout the miniatures within the cabinet.This is an intriguing story which ...
  • Jennifer Masterson
    4.5 Stars. What a fantastic and beautifully written debut novel from Jessie Burton. The Miniaturist is about young Nella who lives in the small town of Assendelft and is married off to a much older man named Johannes Brandt who is from Amsterdam in 1686 during it's Golden Age. What Nella endures in just a few months is crazy and very sad. Nella goes and lives with Johannes, his sister Marin, and the rest of his dysfunctional household. The book d...
  • Frankie
    As soon as i heard about it I knew I had to read this so i bought it online.I have a soft spot for miniatures, Amsterdam and historical novels.
  • Becky
    In many ways this is a beautiful book, with gorgeous descriptive language that really brings the scenes in Amsterdam to life. It's rare that I find an author who can describe without over-use of adjectives. There is a lot to admire.However ultimately I felt this book was like a series of rolling waves which never really broke - the tension seems to grow and swell, then it comes to nothing. Even the dramatic events, of which there are several, lac...
  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    What a magnificent story! So moving and beautiful. Exceptionally written and exquisite in every single way possible. I am not normally a fan of historical fiction, but this novel swept me away in it's beauty, darkness and secrets. Tremendous. This book is the fastest selling debut novel since 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Eleven big name publishers battled it out for the rights to its publication. It is one of the most hyped releases of 2014 and is cur...
  • Lisa
    This book is the fastest selling debut novel since 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Eleven big name publishers battled it out for the rights to its publication. It is one of the most hyped releases of 2014 and is currently outselling J K Rowling. With this in mind, I came into it with fairly high expectations. I was not disappointed. It was everything I was hoping for, an intriguing mix of mystery, love, secrets, betrayal, identity and revenge, all set ag...
  • Jeannette Nikolova
    Now available on the WondrousBooks blog. 1. Cover love!2. IS THIS HOW IT REALLY ENDED?Let me back up here. I stumbled upon this book and I thought the concept was interesting, even though I'm not a fan of historical books. I recently got a hold of it and I was in a hurry to read it. Summary: Nella is a girl of almost 18 years whose father dies and she is forced to marry a rich merchant, Johannes Brandt, from Amsterdam and leave her village. Upon ...
  • Rebecca Foster
    With her debut novel, Burton follows in the footsteps of Sarah Waters and Tracy Chevalier, filling her seventeenth-century Amsterdam canvas with rich period detail and a suspenseful plot. The Miniaturist is flawlessly researched; like a Vermeer painting, it is rich in detail but subtle in construction.However, the story does rather tip over into melodrama, with a trial and an unexpected pregnancy taking up much of the second half. The magical rea...
  • Kado
    THIS REVIEW HAS POTENTIAL SPOILERS (nothing explicit), I just feel like I cannot explain my mixed feelings on this book without going a tiny bit into spoiler territory.The Miniaturist is about Nella, an eighteen-year-old girl in 17th century Amsterdam who is thrust into an arranged marriage with an older man and has to cope with living in a household of closely guarded secrets, puritan values and in-laws and servants who both intrigue and terrify...
  • Maureen
    3.5/5 starsI listened to about half of this on audiobook....then it expired and I had to get a physical copy to finish it out! Overall I enjoyed it but it wasn't really a super fantastic read for me. A lot of elements were really great, namely the characters and the miniaturist, but the writing was a little hard to get into and used to and the overall story arc was meh. The ending was great, but getting to that point took much too long. I really ...
  • Mana
    Imma be super harsh about this book because it had the chance to be so much more than what it was. As another astute Goodreads reviewer noted, The Miniaturist was like a very bad panto. Our 18-year old bride Nella Oortman is gifted a miniature version of her new home from her new husband. She decides to furnish this cabinet with little miniatures. For this task she employs a miniaturist. The miniaturist starts sending Nella things she hasn't aske...
  • Jenny
    4.5 stars. This surprised me in quite a couple ways! It's intriguing, mysterious and GLOOMY. You're waiting for the fog to lift but it never does!
  • Mona
    Wonderful First Novel set in Seventeenth Century Amsterdam Apparently the main characters of this novel are based on actual historical personages (but other than that, it seems to be entirely fictional).There is a photo of a fantastic doll's house belonging to Petronella Oortman on the website of the Dutch Rijksmuseum. Apparently this gorgeous creation (very much like the doll house owned by Nella in "The ...