My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This must be the saddest book that I have read for a very long time. The writing is superb. The prose is exquisite and the research adds great authenticity to the characters and to the scenes, which are set in seventeenth century Amsterdam. The atmosphere is palpable and the action is intense.
I became immersed in the characters and quite attached to some of them.
The cruelty and brutality of the protestant religious leaders of the Dutch Republic is appalling. They flex their man-made power in the name of God and they wallow in the satisfaction that the get from their unchallengeable authority. Even the wealth of the merchants is trumped by the pastors.
I loved the mystery that surrounded the wonderful craftmanship of the miniaturist who supplies tiny replicas of people and objects which predict actual events. She is seldom seen and is a prophet of reality. That is rather scary at times.
The story is gripping. This book kept me awake until well after one in the morning on several occasions.
For me, because of the background, the scene-setting, the religious undertones, the character-building and the starkness of society, The Miniaturist struck echoes of Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I mean that as a huge complement to the writing of Jessie Burton.
For a while, I wavered between awarding four stars or five stars because I became irritated by the number of missing inverted commas and apostrophes. However, it would have been very unfair to award less than five stars to a book that gripped me from beginning to end and stirred my emotions so much that I wept many tears for the tragedy.
You must read this book.