- Publisher: PICADOR
- Format: Hardback | 400 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 218mm x 40mm | 580g
- Publication date: 3 July 2014
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1447250893
- ISBN 13: 9781447250890
- Edition statement: Main Market Ed.
- Sales rank: 731
"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed..." On a cold winter's 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 realises 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?
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Jessie Burton was born in south London in 1982 and studied at Oxford University and The Central School of Speech and Drama. She has appeared in several productions at the National, Bristol Old Vic, Salisbury Playhouse and the Donmar, interspersing these with PA roles in the City. She lives with her partner in East Dulwich.
By Lisa Mitchell 17 Sep 2014
A book full of secrets and friendships. It wasn't the story I was expecting, it was better
By Anna 10 Aug 2014
This is a beautifully written book, not exactly action packed, but full of small detail such as the appearance and mood of characters, description of surroundings and everyday life of the main character. This book would appeal to those who like to "watch" a story from the eyes of those who live in it, rather than "hear" it through the dialogues. If you liked Anna Karenina, this would be a perfect book for you!
The Miniaturist is that rarest of things - beautifully written, yet also a compelling page-turner. It's haunting, magical, and full of surprises, the kind of book that reminds you why you fell in love with reading -- S. J. Watson, author of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP A fabulously gripping read that will appeal to fans of Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch, but Burton is a genuinely new voice with her visceral take on sex, race and class ... Burton writes great complex female characters Observer A terrific novel: compelling cast, gripping plot, writing to savour -- Nathan Filer, author of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL A remarkable debut - complex, involving and deeply atmospheric -- Deborah Moggach, author of TULIP FEVER Utterly transporting, The Miniaturist is one of those rare debut novels that excels in every regard. The past is brought to life in potent, sensory detail: one feels steeped in it. Burton's prose beguiles the reader, while a riptide of a plot takes hold with an unrelenting grip of suspense. My first instinct on finishing this book was to immediately read it again -- Hannah Kent, author of BURIAL RITES The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is set in 17th century Amsterdam where a trader presents his new wife Nella with a miniature replica of their home. Its tiny occupants mirror their real-life counterparts and show Nella what grave dangers lie in wait. -- Hot Books of 2014 Daily Express A delight on every page, The Miniaturist completely immerses the reader in sumptuous but strict seventeenth-century Amsterdam. Like the intricately crafted doll's house at the centre of the novel, there is a surprise behind each closed door and curtain - hidden worlds of deceit and seduction, guilds and guilders, candied walnuts and sugar loaves. Burton's novel is lovingly done, and exquisite to read -- Naomi Wood, author of MRS. HEMINGWAY Utterly beguiling and impeccably written. I am missing the characters already -- Emylia Hall, author of THE BOOK OF SUMMERS The next big thing... Incredibly well-written, beautifully plotted Evening Standard I was so gripped that I walked about the house reading it, reluctant to put it down -- Maria McCann, author of THE WILDING A talented new writer of historical fiction... In a debut that evokes Old Master interiors and landscapes, Burton depicts a flourishing society built on water and trade, where women struggle to be part of the world... With its oblique storytelling, crescendo of female empowerment and wrenching ending, this novel establishes Burton as a fresh and impressive voice Kirkus It's 1686, in Amsterdam. After meeting her husband just once, at their wedding, 18-year-old Nella Oortman walks into her new and hostile home. But when her husband gives her a doll's house, he unwittingly provides her with the key to her empowerment. Preoccupying, to the final sentence Vogue A historical tale of sex and class in 17th-century Amsterdam. If you tore through Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, you'll love it' Evening Standard Burton has created a complex, feminist story with a supernatural twist Harper's Bazaar It grabs you from the off... Like nothing you've read before Glamour The book of the summer... Everything changes when [Nella] uncovers her husband's biggest secret, and what follows is a tender, genuinely inspiring and surprisingly feisty coming of age story The Debrief Mines seventeenth-century Amsterdam for a slowly closing vice of historical suspense... compared to the best of Sarah Waters and Emma Donoghue... gender issues, class struggles and a possibly clairvoyant miniature-furniture designer New York Magazine Sumptuous... As in all good historical novels, the setting is a major character; in this case the city of Amsterdam with its waterways and warehouses... teems with period detail. Myriad plot twists Publishers Weekly Exquisite... Burton conjures up a vivid sense of unease, where nothing is quite as it seems... Mesmerising and suspenseful, Nella's story deals with themes like obsession, perception and truth, and brilliantly describes how she learns to be the mistress of her own destiny in a constrained, claustrophobic world. Unmissable Psychologies Among my favourite debuts this year -- Fanny Blake Woman & Home A gorgeously written first novel Good Housekeeping Burton's accomplished debut novel, The Miniaturist, is a compelling, atmospheric literary thriller... While Burton's portrait of 17th-century Amsterdam is entirely convincing, this is no more straightforward historical fiction than Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda or Sarah Waters' Fingersmith... Sunday Times Rolls together feminism, prophecy and 17th-century Amsterdam into a glittering, suspense-powered plot... Like A S Byatt, Burton is very good at conveying the political nature of people's lives through an abundance of domestic texture. This is a sumptuous book in every sense: she conjures up Amsterdam - its tapestries, food, religious iconography, unforgiving winters - with such sensual flair, you can almost taste the sugar... Burton is viscerally alert to the emotional and physical prisons in which Nella and the fascinatingly complex Marin live... She is also brilliant at generating a more earthbound tension: as the city closes in on the Brandts, the plot seems to twist and buck with every passing page. Truly, it's thrilling. Metro Suspense builds and secrets begin to be revealed... a brilliant page-turning story... her writing is precise and intricate... wonderful world-building and engaging characters We Love This Book Just magnificent ... I loved it -- Claudia Winkleman The Arts Show Burton has clearly done her research and writes with skill, impressively evoking the oppressive, religiously intolerant society of the Dutch Golden Age Mail on Sunday Golden Age Amsterdam comes to life in this finely crafted debut -- Best Books of 2014 Telegraph The bestselling literary debut hardback of the decade so far -- Martin Chilton Telegraph Short and sweet -- Books of the Year 2014 Evening Standard