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The Miniaturist (The Miniaturist, #1)
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Archive: Other Books > The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton- 3 Stars

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message 1: by Joi (last edited Jun 07, 2017 12:14PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3822 comments I'm altogether confused by this book, and mixed with my thoughts with it. I thought it was going to be about The Miniaturist- a mysterious character whose miniature dolls and items predict in an eerie way the life of Petranella Brandt, a recently married young girl whose husband gives her an elaborate dollhouse to fill. It ended up being much more about Nella, her husband, her husbands family, her household, and the drama that ensues inside of it.

Positives-
-So first of all the writing was excellent. The descriptions, the wording, the flow. Great. I would definitely try another Jessie Burton even though I was lukewarm on this. She has a knack for words.
-The Miniaturist story line. It was minuscule, but when it was there, I was intrigued and interested. The "ending" of left questions and wanting more, but in a good way.
-The setting and timeframe. 1600s Amsterdam when canal-trading was booming. I read this now in anticipation for going to Amsterdam in September, and the city-as-a-character did not disappoint.
-The female empowerment show through Petranella growing as a character. She is learning to "be the architect of her own life", and is a strong female character
-Character development. The side characters don't develop as much, as the author reveals their full character to us slowly. The sister Marin in particular is pealed back layer by layer to reveal a much deeper character than expected.

Negatives-
-The lack of the miniaturist. If you took the miniaturist out of the book, the book would be the exact same but maybe 30 pages shorter.
-The drama. I didn't sign up for a soap opera. The book often felt like a timeline of dramatic events.
-Too many heavy subjects just brushed upon but not properly explored. Homosexuality and racism being the big hitters. Mentioned many times but if you're going to tackle these subjects, spend some time to fully invest in them. Especially in a period piece where the norms aren't the same as modern time.
-The trade and commerce aspect of the book. YES WE GET IT JOHANNES SELLS SUGAR. I think the author was trying to put the historical fiction facts based on trade and commerce of the selling of sugarloafs. But this storyline felt really unnecessary and boring to me.

Fun facts:
-BBC has signed to do a 3 part miniseries of this book. I'll be tuning in.
-The premise of the novel is based off of real people. The actual dollhouse given to Nella by Johannes Brandt is displayed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I plan on seeing this during my trip.


message 2: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy | 8842 comments I agreed about the lack of the storyline of the title. I like her next book, the muse, so much better. Maybe the miniseries will expand what we were missing.


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