Celebrating August as the month dedicated to Women in Translation, I had to write a few lines on this absolutely fabulous book I read last month, even if it was in English, not in translation.
"The Miniaturist" is Jessie Burton's first book and I am definitely going to read her latest "The Muse" which appeared this June.
Back to "The Miniaturist" (2014), the book is set in 17th century Amsterdam and it was inspired by a dolls' house which can be found in the King's Museum in Amsterdam. Actually, last year I saw this dolls' house and I still remember the effect it had on me: so small and yet so perfectly made. It has a special place in the vast museum and this is mainly because there are not as many dolls' houses in that pristine condition in the world. At that time I was not aware of the book, but then this year I read a few lines about it on a blog and the whole story intrigued me so I decided to delve in it.
"Growing older does not seem to make you more certain. It simply presents you with more reasons for doubt."
"The Miniaturist" is a mysterious character in the novel who helps the young and newly-wed Nella Oortman to discover the truth about her husband and his relatives and see life in a different (better?) perspective. To pass the time, Nella receives a present from her husband: a dolls' house, which is, in fact, a perfect replica of her own house. Then, the eerie miniaturist sends more figurines than she is required and the secrets start to unfold. Will she be able to cope with all of them? That is for you to find out...
"A lifetime isn't enough to know how a person will behave."
What I really loved, besides the thrilling story and the unexpected events was the witty voice in which the whole story was narrated. The words seemed to be perfectly chosen and everything came together in such a way as to create a perfect novel. Sold in more than 1 million copies, this is a wonderful must-read.
Here is Jessie Burton talking about her book in a BBC interview.