Monday, September 1, 2014
Dark novel about the power of society of those who dare to be different
Interesting and atmospheric book about 17th century Amsterdam. Nella is a young bride to a wealthy merchant adjusting to big city life in Amsterdam. The marriage was arranged by her financially challenged mother and Nella is sent to live with her new husband's cold family. When the marriage remains unconsummated, Nella must discover the web of lies and secrets of the wealthy merchant house. Joannes Brandt is a kind man but an uninterested husband. Out of guilt, he buys his young wife a large cabinet that is an expensive replica of the very house they live in. Strange miniatures begin to arrive from an unknown craftsman that has chilling details. Will they unlock the mysteries of the gloomy home or foretell a devastating future? This book was as dark as a Dutch Masters' painting. The home was filled with anger, unfulfilled dreams, and secrets. Burton imbues a creepy tension as the novel rockets to it's combustive conclusion. Well written, with a flavor of its times, The Miniaturist is an fascinating window into the uber strict religious climate of 17th century Amsterdam, when anything that was different had to be hidden from society.
Carole P. Roman