Overall Rating and Opinion of "The Miniaturist"

Discuss the February 2015 book of the month, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.

How do you rate The Miniaturist?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
0
No votes
2 stars - fair, okay
12
32%
3 stars - good, recommend it
20
54%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
5
14%
 
Total votes: 37

Booklover243
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Re: Overall Rating and Opinion of "The Miniaturist"

Post by Booklover243 » 17 Feb 2015, 21:25

I am getting this book tomorrow and I am so excited about it, I heard this book is fantastic, and I can't wait to try it out. I'll come back and post my review of it here soon

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amybo82
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Post by amybo82 » 18 Feb 2015, 14:04

Ok, I'm a little over halfway through this book, and I am still trying to figure out the purpose of the book. I get an overall impression of what the book is about. I'm intrigued by the mystery of the Miniaturist, but I am starting to get distracted because I feel like the author takes too long to get to a point. I'll update my status when I finish, but for now, I would just give this book 2 out of 4 stars because it has some interesting parts, but it also gets a little boring sometimes.
A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. –Neil Gaiman

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Post by rcratty » 18 Feb 2015, 23:37

I have just started and I too am finding it a slow start. This is my first book reading with this group. I hope I have found a new book to enjoy.

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Post by randolphfine » 19 Feb 2015, 12:14

I finished this book a couple of weeks ago. Looking back on it, I can only say it was just okay. I thought the author did a wonderful job of giving her audience a glimpse into the life of 17th century Netherlands. The little nuances of day to day life were very detailed and believable. I thought she portrayed an ultra conservative Calvinist community very well.

In the end, I wanted more in some areas and less in others. There were some issues I did not care for that I felt were forced. I wanted know more about the miniaturist, but instead felt like I just got the mist that surrounded the character. Unfortunately, this book will be shelved among the lost archives on my Kindle waiting its final destination on a rarely used hard drive.

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CataclysmicKnight
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Post by CataclysmicKnight » 20 Feb 2015, 08:59

I'm about 25% done now... The first 10% or so had me very scared, it reminded me of reading books solely for homework in school. It's getting better now, and hopefully it keeps on this way :D
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Post by Lisalovecraft » 20 Feb 2015, 09:08

Just got this from the library yesterday and am halfway done. The story has me turning the pages to find out what is going to happen next, so that is a good thing! It is not something I would have picked up on my own, but I am enjoying it so far.

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Post by CataclysmicKnight » 21 Feb 2015, 15:48

I was so torn on how to rate this one... As a period novel, I'd easily give it a 3, but on a personal level I had to give it a 2... It's written well and all... But I wasn't a fan overall. I was expecting quite a different story when I kept seeing "mystery" thrown about in descriptions of the novel, which was my own fault - there's plenty of mystery after all, just not the kind of mystery I was hoping to find... For what it's worth, the rating is a high 2, and it'd be 3 out of 5 if we rated out of 5 :)

PS: The "copyright 2014 by Peebo and Pilgrim Ltd." is awesome. Peebo!
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Post by debo9967 » 23 Feb 2015, 07:58

I am almost halfway through the book and it s really gripping. I like the research put in by the author and the book's pretty involving.

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Post by amybo82 » 23 Feb 2015, 11:57

I rated this book 2 out of 4 stars. While I was reading the book, I noticed I kept getting distracted. I like the way Burton writes, technically speaking. However, I think the story as a whole just really lagged in some parts. My main problem was that when I got done reading, I kept wondering, "What was the point of reading this book?" Most of the books I read, I feel different after I read the book than from when before I read it. This one, I was just left feeling indifferent. It's interesting to compare the Amsterdam of the seventeenth century to the Amsterdam of today--very different places! I was surprised to see that nearly three fourths of the ratings are 3 and 4 stars. There was just something about the book as a whole that turned me off. Maybe I just couldn't relate to it?
I've read some other comments that say the novel was intended as a snapshot of Nella's life. Even so, with a snapshot, there should be a reason we're getting that snapshot, and I didn't feel like there was a reason for this one.
A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. –Neil Gaiman

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Post by CataclysmicKnight » 23 Feb 2015, 12:27

amybo82 wrote:I rated this book 2 out of 4 stars. While I was reading the book, I noticed I kept getting distracted. I like the way Burton writes, technically speaking. However, I think the story as a whole just really lagged in some parts. My main problem was that when I got done reading, I kept wondering, "What was the point of reading this book?" Most of the books I read, I feel different after I read the book than from when before I read it. This one, I was just left feeling indifferent. It's interesting to compare the Amsterdam of the seventeenth century to the Amsterdam of today--very different places! I was surprised to see that nearly three fourths of the ratings are 3 and 4 stars. There was just something about the book as a whole that turned me off. Maybe I just couldn't relate to it?
I've read some other comments that say the novel was intended as a snapshot of Nella's life. Even so, with a snapshot, there should be a reason we're getting that snapshot, and I didn't feel like there was a reason for this one.

YES!!!! Thank you! I felt like I should have enjoyed this one more, especially with so many 3 ratings, but I felt the same - "what was the point?" and "not much happened over all these pages..." But at the same time, she did a great job writing, she was good with putting words together...
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Post by Norma_Rudolph » 23 Feb 2015, 13:15

I read this last month in anticipation. Glad we can finally discuss it. It's been long enough now I'm having trouble remembering why I didn't love the book. I did enjoy the mystery and the way that the miniatures played into it. Like others have said however, I felt that none of it resolved well. The book was well written as far as descriptions and historical interest. But the plot seemed rather pointless.

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amybo82
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Post by amybo82 » 23 Feb 2015, 13:19

I found some pretty interesting information by seeking out other reviews from various places, including Amazon, Goodreads, and the author's website. One of the official summaries I read said that the book followed the lives of two women. I would say that if follows the life of one woman (Nella) or a group of people (Nella, Johannes, Marin, Otto, the Miniaturist, etc.). I was also surprised at the number of awards and honors the book/author have received.

-- February 23rd, 2015, 2:22 pm --
Norma_Rudolph wrote:I read this last month in anticipation. Glad we can finally discuss it. It's been long enough now I'm having trouble remembering why I didn't love the book. I did enjoy the mystery and the way that the miniatures played into it. Like others have said however, I felt that none of it resolved well. The book was well written as far as descriptions and historical interest. But the plot seemed rather pointless.
Norma,
I am glad you said that you're having trouble remembering why you didn't love it. I think this is one of those books that you remember the good parts, and the other parts, you kind of forget about as time fades. For me, I will probably look back at this book in a year or so and also wonder why I didn't love it. I like the same elements you did, and those are what will stick out in my mind. I will probably forget that I was completely underwhelmed by the resolution of the story, that it lagged, and that I couldn't grasp an overall point to the book.
A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. –Neil Gaiman

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Post by cam24eron » 23 Feb 2015, 13:36

I just finished reading this book, and like most it did start off slow. Though once I got going in the book it did pick up and was quite enjoyable. I found the miniaturist very interesting along with the other characters. The plot had twists and turns that kept you reading to see "what happens next." Even though I did enjoy the book, the ending was abrupt and I really wanted more of what happened. Overall, it is a great book that I could not put down.

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Post by Norma_Rudolph » 23 Feb 2015, 15:43

amybo82 wrote:I found some pretty interesting information by seeking out other reviews from various places, including Amazon, Goodreads, and the author's website. One of the official summaries I read said that the book followed the lives of two women. I would say that if follows the life of one woman (Nella) or a group of people (Nella, Johannes, Marin, Otto, the Miniaturist, etc.). I was also surprised at the number of awards and honors the book/author have received.

-- February 23rd, 2015, 2:22 pm --
Norma_Rudolph wrote:I read this last month in anticipation. Glad we can finally discuss it. It's been long enough now I'm having trouble remembering why I didn't love the book. I did enjoy the mystery and the way that the miniatures played into it. Like others have said however, I felt that none of it resolved well. The book was well written as far as descriptions and historical interest. But the plot seemed rather pointless.
Norma,
I am glad you said that you're having trouble remembering why you didn't love it. I think this is one of those books that you remember the good parts, and the other parts, you kind of forget about as time fades. For me, I will probably look back at this book in a year or so and also wonder why I didn't love it. I like the same elements you did, and those are what will stick out in my mind. I will probably forget that I was completely underwhelmed by the resolution of the story, that it lagged, and that I couldn't grasp an overall point to the book.
That's true. It was a very well written book in many ways. It kept my interest, it just disappointed me in the end. It didn't keep it's promises.

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Post by starcrunch61 » 23 Feb 2015, 15:49

I just finished The Miniaturists. I started yesterday morning and continued on till I finished. I didn't read anything about the book before so everything about it was surprising. I really loved the setting and the time frame. It showed me a whole new perspective of what it was like to live then. I really liked the story also. It was different and charming and I even shed a few tears. The ending was quite abrupt and I wished of course for Nella a more happy ending. All things aside I may not of read it given other choices but thoroughly glad I did.

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