Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Not quite the story that I had imagined it to be but was still an interesting tale set during the 17th century Dutch Golden Age, a setting that is so far removed from where I live now.  It was scary to read people's reactions and beliefs at the time and prejudices that were around.  I just wish there was more involvement with the Miniaturist, or maybe that was the whole point of their being, to cause our heroine Nella to think more about the choices she makes in her life.  There were some nice touches to details, such as lack of sanitation, lack of heat and the scandal that could be caused by a woman wandering through the streets of Amsterdam alone.  It was also interesting to read about the different personalities and ambitions of the various female characters, some happy to be wedded and looked after, Nella who was very young and naive and married off by her family to a rich merchant, and some who were more of a force of nature who did not have the desire to be tied to a man but happy to be an independent woman (not an easy task in the 17th century apparently). Plus more reminders that religion can be scary thing...

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