It’s 1686 when Nella arrives in Amsterdam to move into her new husbands home. She is greeted by her husbands sister and the maids , but no husband (Johannes). It doesn’t seem a great start to married life. He soon returns to their home but is often distant and too busy working to speak to Nella. She feels alone in her new world, especially when she attends her first social event with him;
Here she is a puppet, a vessel for others to pour their speech. And it is not a man she has married, but a world.
Johannes presents her with a gift; a replica of their home in a cabinet. Nella hires a miniaturist to help furnish the small cabinet but gets more than she bargained for in a number of ways.
Who is this miniaturist who has so much insight into Nella’s new life? What is her husband hiding? Who is her sister in law and why has she never married?
It seems that Nella’s new home is full of secrets and the miniaturist she hires has a disturbing understanding of what is going on. Each character develops into something unexpected as the secrets are uncovered.
I struggled to get into this book at first as the scene was set and necessary characters introduced, but this wasn’t a problem for very long. Relationships grew and secrets were unveiled to really pick up the pace. This is a story of strong women in a male dominated world and acceptance of differences in a judgemental society. By the end of the book so much had happened that I immediately turned back to the beginning to read the first chapter again.
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I received this book in exchange for a review on Mumsnet