2016 Reading Challenge Book 30 – The Miniaturist

Hi, Hey, Hello!

So, one day I am going to stop starting things with the word ‘so’, but today is not that day.

So, here’s another book review and with it we have reached the 3/4 mark.

The Miniaturist, Book 27, 2016 Reading Challenge
The Miniaturist, Book 30, 2016 Reading Challenge

Honestly, I don’t know where I stand with this book.

I’m not even all that sure of what the hell the plot was and the ultimate point of it. This was my second attempt at reading it and obviously it was more successful than my last attempt because I finished it, but when I finished it I was left confused. It took so long for me to register that the book started at the end once I had read the final pages of the book and even when I did register that I didn’t necessarily get it…?

Who even was the miniaturist? What was her point? Where did she go? How could she do all these things with tiny figures? Where did she learn to do that? Why did she learn to do that? What the fuck was she doing with the grave?

I could go on. Basically I just had a shit ton of questions and none of them were answered and I was left with a weird sense of unease as a direct consequence of that. Maybe that was the point. Maybe we are all Nella trying figure out the fuck just happened and who this woman was and what the implications of her actions are. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it…

Things I did like it, which there are actually many despite what the opening of this post might suggest. The writing. Oh my giddy aunt, the writing. The images Burton creates are just beautiful. I am a massive sucker for any kind of body of water and the way that Burton talks about the rivers of Amsterdam and the city itself is just so stunning and evocative. On language alone I would recommend this book to anyone because I think everybody needs that kind of stunning in their lives.

The characters themselves I liked. I loved the almost coming of age story that Nella went through as she was thrust into this new world without a paddle or any real idea what she was getting into. I liked the slight ambiguity of her husband and the way that his storyline played out in a way that I honestly was not expecting. I found Marin super interesting as a character and the way that her story arc played out was not something that I expected and I loved that. The relationship that Nella and Cornelia had as the book developed was one of my favourite parts of the story as a whole as was the one that was developed between Nella and Marin, as contentious as it was. The female relationships in this book were basically the highlight of it for me. I feel like I wanted a bit more development from Johannes or something? I think I mainly just wanted more of him. I wasn’t necessarily that invested in him and so part of the pinnacle of this story was just sort of lost on me. If it had been almost any other character I probably would have been more invested and felt a bit more when I reached that part of the book. I was just sort of indifferent to him as a character and he was kind of important in the grand scheme of things so it felt like something was disconnected with me and the story.

So on the whole I am very confused as to how I feel about it as a book. I liked the characters, I loved the writing, I loved the sort of magical/supernatural/fantasy element of it even though I didn’t necessarily get it. There was just a disconnect between me and the novel as a whole that I can’t really explain and meant that in some way I just didn’t fully like it. I think I would recommend it though and I also think that I would read it again at another time…see confused about it.

3/5 stars

Parentheses count: 0. Say what?? See you on Saturday.

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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