The Miniaturist, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . . On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam.

She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin.

Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home.

It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . . Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all.

Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?

Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • ISBN: 9781447250937

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This was a delightful, delicate read with some dark undertones ... just the kind of book I enjoy. I felt rushed through the middle third of the story, however, and wished for more details about the miniaturist. But perhaps that was the point: the miniaturist was more of a catalyst than a character. Regardless, it was beautifully constructed and I am eagerly awaiting Jessie Burton's next novel.

Review by

Nella Oortman - now known formally as Petronella Brandt after her marriage to wealthy merchant Johannes - moves to Amsterdam from the dull countryside to begin her new life as his wife. Living in the same household, Johannes sister, Marin, is the head of the household, with two servants, Cornelia and Otto. But the house is strange and cold, despite their wealth, and Johannes seems uninspired by his new wife. However, he buys her a brand new, very expensive dollhouse to satiate her, not knowing what it might mean for their marriage.<br/><br/><br/>For a much-hyped book, I was pleasantly surprised. Though I wasn't <i>overly</i> surprised, which doesn't surprise me. I've yet to read a book that deserves any of the hype it gets, including <i>Harry Potter</i>.<br/><br/>It was well-written, though at times there were mistakes, grammatical errors and the narration P.O.V irritated me at times. This is what I would expect from any first-time Author, though. The characters were well developed with immense back-stories, though at times they slipped and turned in to cardboard "background" characters. Nella was one of the more infuriating characters, purely because she was lovely and well-rounded at times, sometimes headstrong and sometimes a very timid young woman (childlike), but often her personality decomposed so much that I became unable to like her at all. I often went back and forth with my feelings for her, though in the end I think I did like her altogether.<br/><br/>The plot was likeable, and there were many times when I was taken aback by what was happening, which I enjoyed immensely. It was very surreal, however, and I would prefer the book to have been ousted as a kind of fantastical book from the beginning, because elements of the story were far-fetched (The Miniaturist, for one) but I certainly enjoyed the historical elements. Nella Oortman was a real lady who owned a Miniature Dollhouse (now housed in Rijksmuseum, though it certainly isn't biographical) and the atmosphere of 17th Amsterdam is wonderful.<br/><br/>For a first novel, it's a wonderful world. There are many pitfalls that bring it down, and the characters are quite schizophrenic at times (in that their personalities and three-dimensional properties get a little murky sometimes), but all in all, honestly, and if you know me you'll know I don't overrate books at all, nor do I buy in to the hype, this is a good book. Well done. <br/><br/>

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