Book Title: The Miniaturist
Author: Jessie Burton
Date Started: April 1st 2018
Date Completed: April 7th 2018
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Adult
Quality Rating: Five Stars
Enjoyment Rating: Five Stars
Final Rating: Five stars
It's rare you find a book with a story so compelling; that unfolds so naturally as if it isn't written at all. To then find that it has beautiful writing as well is even rarer. I thoroughly enjoyed The Miniaturist, even having watched the BBC adaptation so I already knew the story.
For me, this is diverse historical fiction. It's how you write a feminist story (that features varying minorities) that is still accurate to the time period and society it's set in. The history of Amsterdam is so interesting, and even without being a primary focus I feel like I learnt a lot about general everyday life, especially about the kinds of people that aren't recorded in history.
Nella is an interesting protagonist because she begins entirely believing in how she's been raised. She has such clear expectations and anticipation for what she'll have to endure, and suddenly she's thrown into a whole different game and has to tread water herself. So often these days I find myself seeing character arcs that are simply triumphing over evil instead of personal development. But through experience, hard learning and actively starting to make decisions when she thought she couldn't, Nella completely transforms.
The book is just as enjoyable as the show - and as accessible too. It's a very faithful adaptation but I felt like I was discovering it all over again. I'm quite glad I read it after watching the show since I knew to pay attention to the slow-burning plot and have the patience for the politics. That being said, it's all so engaging regardless of your historical knowledge that I would've loved it anyway.