After reading The Muse a few months back, I immediately headed to my mum’s bookshelf and picked up Burton’s first book – The Miniaturist. Set in the 1680s, young Nella arrives in Amsterdam at her husband’s house, ready to become the perfect wife and lady of the house, however it becomes apparent very quickly that it won’t be as simple as she thought. For one, her husband doesn’t seem the least bit interested in her and secondly, his sister; Marin, seems unlikely to give up the household reins to a young girl from the country. It all changes the day Johannes returns home with a present for his new wife – a miniature replica of their household and it doesn’t take long for bored Nella to decide to fill it… however when the packages begin to arrive, it becomes apparent the miniaturist knows the ins and outs of the household better than Nella herself. At first Nella is spooked by this invasion into their lives but in time, she realises that the miniaturist could help her uncover the truth and set a new path into the future…
This book drew my attention from the first page, I was mesmerised by the miniaturist’s gifts and the period setting. The characters were mysterious and complex – the warmth of the two servants’ personalities; Cornelia and Otto, complimented the coldness of Marin’s character perfectly. I liked that I wasn’t able to tell which direction this book was leading until I’d reached the final quarter. It was extremely well written and flowed beautifully, although if I was to be picky… I felt at times the plot presumed the reader would have picked up on references that were a little too subtly placed.
I will miss these characters greatly and for me, that’s the sign of an unforgettable book.
Until next time, Chloé x