The 'On my bookshelf' series of posts is all about sharing my current reads with you. Reading is one of my favourite past times and really helps me to relax and unwind. Now that summer is here, one of my favourite things to do is to take myself, the dogs (Coco and Teddy:)) and a good book outside and become immersed in the pages while at the same time getting some all important fresh air and time in nature.
My first 'On my bookshelf' post is about The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, which I have just finished reading. It is set in Amsterdam in the 1680s.
What it says on the back cover...
"On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives at a grand house in Amsterdam to begin her new life as the wife or wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt. Though curiously distant, he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations ring eerily true. As Nella uncovers the secrets of her new household she realizes the escalating dangers they face. The miniaturist seems to hold their fate in her hands - but does she plan to save or destroy them?"
I have always had a fondnesss for novels set in historical times. Mainly because they paint a picture of what life was like in a particular place at a particluar time. The Miniaturist does this beautifully with Amsterdam. From the beauty of the city to the relationship between the men of religion and the merchants, your imagination cannot help but conjure up an image of the city and what life must of been like. However, the main reason I liked this book was because of Nella's character. She is young and new to the city but is wise and brave at the same time. I couldn't help but like her and, for me, in her character lay the appeal of the book.
The book is easy to read but I don't know if I would call it a page turner. I enjoyed it, yet when I finished the book, I couldn't help but think that I had missed something. I don't want to give away too much, but I wished the role of the Miniaturist character had been developed a little more. Despite this, I enjoyed the book and it's well worth the read.
The Miniaturist, by Jessie Bunton