The Miniaturist by Jessie BurtonSet 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 Nellas 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.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton - Review
Hanh Nguyen. On the surface, it appears to be the usual sort of marriage contract: She and her family benefit from his wealth and status, while he receives a youthful bride to help continue the Brandt line and look pretty while doing it. The latter, in fact, appears to be the main goal because he spares no expense in enrobing her in the most sumptuous fabrics and gowns, putting her on display for a society that is caught up in appearances.
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I n year-old Nella Oortman, a country girl of good birth but straitened circumstances, is married to Johannes Brandt, a wealthy merchant trader twice her age, and dispatched to his luxurious house in Amsterdam. Hopeful of love, Nella is soon disappointed: Brandt is indifferent to her, his domineering sister terse and disdainful. Even the outspoken servants confound Nella's provincial expectations. Lonely and unoccupied, Nella is at first angered by her husband's extravagant wedding gift, a perfect facsimile of her new home in miniature, which she regards as a cruel joke, a mockery of her powerlessness in the household. However, her curiosity piqued by an advertisement, she commissions a miniaturist to create a few small items to furnish the house. The tiny creations she receives are not only exquisite, they bear an uncanny resemblance to their real-life counterparts, suggesting that the miniaturist knows every detail not only of the house itself but the secrets of its occupants.
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Hanh Nguyen. Eventually, the verdict came in clearing him on all counts except for the last one, which unfortunately carried a death sentence. After spending an evening in jail comforting her husband, the next day she watched as he was publicly executed by drowning.
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The Miniaturist: BBC made one MAJOR Nella Brandt plot change - did you notice it?
The Miniaturist is the debut novel of English actress and author Jessie Burton. It does not otherwise attempt to be a biographical novel. Petronella Nella Oortman, a poor year-old girl from the beautiful Dutch countryside village of Assendelft, arrives at the Golden Bend home in Amsterdam of the wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt, whom she married a month earlier. She steps into a house of secrets held by Brandt's ascetic sister Marin, the servants Cornelia and Otto, and Brandt himself, who treats her more like a friend than a wife. Brandt gives her a wedding present of a dollhouse designed to look like their nine-room home in miniature, and she engages the services of a local miniaturist to add realistic furnishings to it.