The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist

By Jessie Burton

  • Release Date: 2014-08-26
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4
From 238 Ratings


Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam—a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion—a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

”There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .“

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-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 . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.


  • Surprising Historical Story

    By Crittersmith
    I really liked this story for its history and it's glimpse into the customs and morals of that period. I thought this would be a typical country girl wins over sophisticated businessman and his family story. It is not! It is in your face, unexpected situations that the heroine has to deal with and survive. It's the old adage that things and people are not what they seem. The weak become strong and strong are very weak! I really liked this story because of the historical perspective and the surprising situations. I recommend this novel.
  • The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton

    By 75gator
    Historical themes draw the reader into 17th century Amsterdam's mercantile economic life. Dark overtone's of the issues we grapple with today and still have failed to come to terms with, are laced into the storyline. The writing is very well done and illustrates a time of the nascent seeds of capitalism nurtured to life thru the guild system. I was thoroughly entertained and.transported into the past.
  • Good light read

    By paulewannacracker
    Compelling story and characters with enough plot twist to keep interest. The glossary needs to be at the front so Dutch terms are easily understood.
  • Couldn't put it down

    By Scrabblez
    This book is very different than my normal reading fare. I was surprised to be immediately engrossed with this odd subject matter but I found I could not put it down! It was beautifully written, talking about a time and place unfamiliar to me but I could see through the author's descriptions. Add a touch of mystery of the dollhouse and miniaturist and you have a wonderful read! Thank you.
  • Stupid in the extreme

    By AJ&S
    So full of stereotypes, predictability and just sheer bull----, I cannot fathom why this got good reviews. Don't waste your time and money.
  • The Miniaturist

    By ItsBelle
    An ok read. Nothing to write home about. Parts were interesting but I couldn't connect with the characters. I prefer meatier books. This was blah. I liked Nella and how she fared being thrown into that bizarre situation. Felt sorry for her trying to keep everything together.
  • Will there be a sequel?

    By Strxppol
    Well written and historically interesting, I too felt cheated by the ending. As the book was clearly coming to a close, I was working hard to create an interesting, workable ending in my mind. Which will it be? Alas none. The author just let it drop. If I could envision several possible endings, surely the author could have done so as well.
  • Frustrating

    By sross
    The writing is very good and I was drawn into the story. About half way through I was asking, ok, so what? How does all of this connect? How will the author pull everything together? So many many unanswered questions. At the end of it... Very unsatisfying.
  • Emotional, Mysterious & Suspenseful!

    By SMG222
    Absolutely fell in love with this book!!! It was a complete page turner from the very beginning and an enjoyable read. I couldn't wait to uncover the secrets behind everyone and everything... It's one of those stories you wish would never end...
  • Frustrating

    By Sarahjigs
    Character development was very slow. I was just starting to care about the main players when the book abruptly ends. There were a lot of questions left unanswered and the prologue/first chapter was never really tied into the plot entirely. Easy read but very frustrating.