I had The Miniaturist on my wish list for a while but I put it off because there was something about the synopsis that just struck me as the book being a bit of a long slog. Something I’d have been forced to read in a lit class way back in the day. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Newly married Nella arrives at her husbands home in the city of Amsterdam pious and hypocritical that it is and swiftly finds out that this marriage and life isn’t going to be the fairy tale that she wanted.
Spoilers? Is the lack of something happening a spoiler? I don’t know for sure. Maybe I should ask- is the lack of something happening that I may expect to happen a spoiler even if other people might not expect the same thing…
Anyway beware below for possible spoilers:
In order to make Nella feel better about the whole not a proper husband thing Johannes buys her a dollhouse and tells her to decorate it so she seeks out a miniaturist who immediately begins sending her more than she asked for and perfect representations of things no one could know right down to a characters underwear. Nella and her hard to read sister-in-law Marin are appropriately freaked out but as their lives slowly begin to spin out of control Nella comes to believe the miniaturist is either responsible or trying to send her a message.
This is a journey story. There are no easy answers. We find out who the miniaturist is but not much beyond that and I was surprised that Marin who starts off so hard becomes the most sympathetic while Nella grows and finds herself inner strength.
One bad thing:
About half way through a dog is murdered and that about did me in. I’m really bad. I can’t take anything bad happening to animals in books or movies. People? Fine with it. I kept going though because you really do want to see it all end well for them. Whether or not it does I’ll leave that to you to find out.
Recommend: Yes. There’s the dog thing and several big old hypocrites that you just want to smack but Nella, Marin and Cornelia drive the story enough that you’re really rooting for them.