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On a brisk autumn day in 1686, 18-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…

REVIEW : A little dissuaded by so many negative reviews, I’d put off reading The Miniaturist for a while. But I grabbed myself the audiobook after some thought and pressed play apprehensively. I might have hated it… But I’m glad I didn’t listen to anyone (as usual) and did whatever I wanted to. I’m not sure if I have really bad taste in literature (Of course I don’t) or if this was just a grossly misunderstood book but I really enjoyed it.

The Miniaturist is a well read audiobook with the narrator, Davina Porter, taking on the different characters with ease. Not once do you have any doubt as to which character is speaking even if it isn’t specified.

Granted it felt a little long winded and tedious and I felt like I didn’t really get to know Johannes Brandt or Otto or Marin or bloody anyone really. I wish that maybe we got to see more strife between Nella and the others but that wasn’t there either. The only time I felt like I got to know the characters was towards the end. I don’t think most readers would have liked this but I thought it showed off the author’s talent quite well. The author, Jessie Burton, has skilfully made us readers feel just as confused, stranded and lost as Nella, the protagonist, would have felt. While this may have been the cause of the bad reviews, this made me love the book. I’ll probably pick up the physical book again.

This is a “realistic” story without the typical happy a flying unicorn saves the day sort of ending. Mysterious, stressful with enough twists and turns and irksome characters to keep you reading. Although I must say the “mystery” part of it wasn’t mysterious at all. It was easy to see what was happening in the story early on so that’s where this loses 1.5 stars. I’d give this 3.5 stars. Read it if you wont get incensed when a book doesn’t follow the typical mystery/fantasy tropes.

Buy The Miniaturist on Amazon