Narrated by Bahni Turpin and Maria Elena Infantino
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4.5 stars!!
Another excellent read from Jessie Burton! I so enjoyed “The Miniaturist” that I was really looking forward to this one. I actually listened to the audiobook version of this. This is the story of two young women, living at different times. Olive is living in Spain with her family in 1936 as political tensions are beginning to rise. She longs to be a painter but her father will not let her attend art school so she paints in secret in the attic. A local girl helps out in the house and the two become best friends. When Olive’s mother hires a local painter to paint their portrait, events begin to spiral out of control.
In 1967, Odelle is a young woman who has emigrated from the Caribbean. She is hired to work as a secretary for the Skelton Institute of Art. At her best friend’s wedding she meets a young man who has inherited an unusual painting after the recent death of his mother. He brings the painting to the Skelton to find out if it has any value. The search for what happened to the painter will bring the two storylines together but watch out for all the twists and turns before you get to the end.
I really enjoyed this story. It’s complex, keeps you guessing, and the way that the author takes you back and forth from one storyline to the other keeps you fully engaged. I did have a little trouble getting into the story at the beginning but I think that had more to do with the narration than the story itself. Both narrators have accents, one Spanish and one Caribbean, which makes the characters come to life but it took me a couple of hours of listening to really feel comfortable with the narrators. Don’t let that discourage you from picking up this book though. The story is inspired and a real treat. I highly recommend.
On Amazon | On Goodreads
A startlingly, fabulous story. You will not be able to put down The Miniaturist until you have followed the drama to its end. I almost passed this one up thinking it might be for a young audience. Boy, was I wrong!
The Miniaturist opens with Nella, a young woman of 18, as she arrives in Amsterdam. A month previously she married Johannes Brandt, a rich merchant in the city. He promptly left for business reasons and Nella is left to travel alone to her new home in Amsterdam. But when she arrives there is no husband to greet her. Instead she finds his sister, Marin, Cornelia the maid, and Otto the houseman. Nella is quickly thrown into the complexity of the adult world and all its secrets.
Marin runs the household with an iron fist, but what is it that she keeps hidden in her seemingly cold heart. Cornelia is the ever faithful and loyal servant who likes to make a little mischief and thinks she knows everyone’s secret, but what she doesn’t know is very dangerous indeed. Otto is a black man, a rarity in 17th century Amsterdam, who Johannes brought back with him from one of his journeys. He is subject to the stares and gossip of everyone in society. Finally, there is Johannes. The husband who will not visit his wife’s bed. The merchant who stalls the sale of a warehouse full of sugar. The man whose secret will lead to someone’s death.
Every page is filled with drama and intrigue. Follow Nella and Marin as they try to find a place of freedom in their lives in an era where women are rarely allowed to be free agents.
Jessie Burton has done a wonderful job in The Miniaturist of portraying Amsterdam in the 1600’s. Her characters are rich and intriguing. The story is dark at times but nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I encourage you to take a chance with this absorbing tale. I think you will not be disappointed.
The Miniaturist: A Novel