April 14, 2018
HISTORICAL FICTION, WOMEN'S FICTION
Recently I noticed a librarian had propped up The Miniaturist on her desk, it sat with a little sign that said, "Ask me about his book." When I did, she smiled and said that it was a great read and that I should add it to my TBR list, and then be sure to read it as soon as possible. Of course my TBR list is long, so it took me awhile to get to it, but I have to say it was fascinating. The story begins with Nella, an eighteen year old new bride, traveling to her husband's home. She comes from a family with a good name, but has few prospects, so she has agreed to marry Johannes, a wealthy merchant from Amsterdam. Seems simple? Right? Not at all. Enter Marin, Johannes unmarried sister, Otto and Cornelia, the two servants, and a wedding present -- a miniature version of her new home. As a reader I felt for Nella, this young woman thrust unknowing into this strange situation. Nella hopes to be a wife to Johannes, hopes for babies, and hopes for happy laughter. Soon she realizes there will be none. We, as readers, uncover secrets as if we are Nella, and they are some big ones. I applaud the librarian who propped this up on her desk, as The Miniaturist is full of intrigue and mystery, as well as controversial topics that swirl through society even today.