The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton

This is a very interesting historical fiction novel set in Golden Age Amsterdam, which taught me lots of things and made me think a lot about what the city would have been like then. The story itself, though, was not particularly gripping, and a little bit implausible in my opinion.

Our protagonist, Nella, comes to Amsterdam from the countryside to marry a man she barely knows. He is a successful merchant with a live-in nosey maid, black servant and grumpy sister. The title is a reference to the miniaturist that Nella uses to furnish a dolls house that her husband buys for her as a wedding gift. I did not see great value or interest in this part of the plot, and there was some supernatural stuff going on there that was never really explained. The implausibility of the plot is the closeness that Nella feels to this household after just a few short months.

The storyline is full of twists and turns that teach us lots about this unique city at this time, which I very much enjoyed. I struggled to believe the characters, though, and so could not quite get too excited by the story itself.

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