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
53%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
6
16%
 
Total votes: 38

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

Post by Heather » 09 Feb 2015, 09:39

I actually read this in December for my personal book club, and was excited to see it as the book of the month here, so I could discuss it some more. I enjoyed this book. I loved the setting, in that it was different from anything else I have read, which made it interesting. I loved seeing Nella's growth throughout the story. She ended up with a marriage from from what she expected, but she pulled herself together and made a life for herself in the family that she had become a part of. I also loved the mystery throughout the book. I just had to keep reading so I could find out what in the world was going on!

I, however, did not like the loose ends left concerning the Miniaturist herself. I wanted to know more, and found it odd that she just disappeared from a story titled after her.

Still, I enjoyed the book.
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Post by Michael_hayden » 10 Feb 2015, 20:51

I'm about halfway through. So far, I think Nella is likeable, and I can connect with her emotions. It was so slow to start that I almost gave up, but its quaint charm told me to persist. The story's starting to pick up, the mystery's building, so I'll hang in there!

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Post by sahmoun2778 » 10 Feb 2015, 21:58

I loved this book from beginning to end. The descriptions really transported my mind to 17th century Amsterdam. Nella and Cornelia were instantly likable. Took me a little longer to warn up to Johannes and Marin, I can't really say I liked her at any point but I did come to respect her choices. The story was continually surprising me and while the ending did seem abrupt I was not unhappy with it. I felt like this book was meant to be a snapshot of a few months in Nella's life and it was not the author's intention to tie everything up with a neat little bow. I found the story to be unique and fascinating. I will be looking for other work from this author.
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Post by Heather » 11 Feb 2015, 09:07

sahmoun2778 wrote:I felt like this book was meant to be a snapshot of a few months in Nella's life and it was not the author's intention to tie everything up with a neat little bow.
I like that idea! Maybe Nella's story isn't finished yet. :)
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Post by scquarantillo » 12 Feb 2015, 22:55

When I first started reading and it was kind of slow, but after the first few chapters it's really started to pick up! However, when I got to the end I also felt that it was unfinished orvabrupt! It just kind of ended. Over all I think the author did a good job with story building and the book had a good plot. I rated it 3 -4 stars.

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Post by Duende Knocking » 13 Feb 2015, 00:07

I ordered it from the library but am a bit hesitant to pick it up now after reading the reviews here. I find open-ended stories that don't resolve the problems they hype to be very frustrating (I only know one author who can get away with it).

Is it really that unresolved at the end? I'm not sure if it's worth it now. I am interested in the subject matter but I don't want to end up being disappointed. :(
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Post by scquarantillo » 13 Feb 2015, 00:20

I don't think you'll be disappointed..if I didn't pick up books because of other reviews I would have missed some of my favorite books! Go with your gut!

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Post by gali » 13 Feb 2015, 06:18

Duende Knocking wrote:I ordered it from the library but am a bit hesitant to pick it up now after reading the reviews here. I find open-ended stories that don't resolve the problems they hype to be very frustrating (I only know one author who can get away with it).

Is it really that unresolved at the end? I'm not sure if it's worth it now. I am interested in the subject matter but I don't want to end up being disappointed. :(
I enjoyed the book despite its shortcomings and recommend reading it. There are some loose ends, but the book is still enjoyable.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Cbrunyate » 14 Feb 2015, 18:29

I think maybe my hopes for this book were just too high. I really liked the idea, but it just got too sad for me. I kept waiting for something good to happen, and it never did. I was even disappointed with the ending, I was really hoping that it would go in a different direction. I thought the author was a good writer, it was descriptive, and made me want to keep reading. If the amount of hype that it got, I think I just expected more.

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Post by Lisalovecraft » 15 Feb 2015, 05:30

I requested this from the library, but am still on the wait list. Don't think I will be getting it by the end of the month. :cry:
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Post by Maria_G » 15 Feb 2015, 09:10

I have downloaded it today. Feeling quite excited about reading it as I have read mixed rewies. I think as a book it sounds very interesting.

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Post by scquarantillo » 16 Feb 2015, 01:18

Maria_G wrote:I have downloaded it today. Feeling quite excited about reading it as I have read mixed rewies. I think as a book it sounds very interesting.

Don't let the reviews sway you. Honestly the book is good. The author has a nice writing style that will keep you going! Let me know what you think!

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Post by HoneyB » 16 Feb 2015, 11:52

I enjoyed the book. It was not something I'd have picked to read on my own (which is the main reason I like to read the book club selections). I enjoyed the setting of Amsterdam in the 1600's. Nella was young but had high aspirations for her marriage. I think her husband, Johannes, held real affection for her but not romantically. I admit his secret wasn't what I thought is would be, and I'm glad I was wrong because I thought for some time that Marin (his sister) and he were...together. Marin was a contradictory character and most of the time I found I didn't really like her. She had some deep secrets herself and Nella will be left carrying the burden. Overall, I rated the book 3 out of 4 stars.
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Post by ejcogan » 17 Feb 2015, 16:49

I just started reading this after reading the reviews and discussions. I'm glad there weren't any real spoilers. So far I am enjoying it tremendously and look forward to posting my views when I'm finished.
It is better to have loved and lost, than to be married to a psycho for the rest of your life.
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Post by TammyO » 17 Feb 2015, 21:02

Fran wrote:I finished The Miniaturist in the early hours.
An interesting book. On the plus side I appreciated the level of research Jessie Burton did and the detailed depiction of Amsterdam in 1686 with it's oppressive fundamentalism, obsession with sin and a thinly veiled hypocrisy and the insight it gives into the lives of traders and entrepreneurs of the period.
On the negative side I found much of the book stretched credibility and left much unresolved or unexplained. Overall while I liked Nella I just did not find her to be totally credible. I felt she morphed from a wide-eyed country innocent to a knowing street-smart woman, accepting of all the secrets and peccadilloes of her new family much too readily and with little or no conflict of conscience, just did not ring true with me.
That said it is a reasonably entertaining book but I felt the ending was unresolved and ultimately frustrating, she had hyped up the "secrets" and the mysterious happening and then just failed to provide resolution.
IMO an OK read but not one I would be rushing to recommend.

I actually enjoyed it and thought it was great for all of these reasons that you stated. The research was extremely brilliant and the depictions were quite accurate. The author did a very good job with her depictions of Amsterdam in 1686. The ending was a little lackluster and left me wanting more but overall, the book was good. I'd definitely recommend it to others.
"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." ~Tom Clancy
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