18 year old Nella Oortman has lost her father leaving her family with nothing but an old Dutch name. 39 Johannes Brandt is a very successful Amsterdam businessman without a wife. So Nella and Johannes are married at their family’s behests without knowing very much at all about each other. When Nella arrives in Amsterdam, Johannes is absent from the house but she is met by his sister Marin and the servants, Cornelia and Otto. Marin thinks that Johannes should give Nella something to do, so he buys her a miniature cabinet with the rooms in their house in to decorate. Nella looks in Smit’s list for someone to help her furnish the cabinet and finds an advert for a miniaturist. She orders some miniatures which arrive. The trouble is, the miniatures are a little bit too accurate for Nella’s liking.
If the story had continued in this vein I would have rated this book 5 stars. I was drawn in by the excellent characterisations; I really liked Nella and the supporting cast were excellent in all regards. The trouble is, after a bit, “The Miniaturist” just seems to fizzle out. The story takes a completely different turn, all the information about the characters turns out to be misleading and how the minituarist herself relates to Nella is completely overlooked. I wanted to know how she could make the accurate models and where her information came from. Instead, it was all ignored as if it didn’t matter. I did find this very disappointing because I had got really involved with that part of the story. I very rarely write reviews with spoilers, but I have to here because I am revealing a big part of the story which doesn’t happen until near the end but affects the whole story and which affected my enjoyment of it. I don’t need happy endings but I don’t want to feel I have wasted my time on something. I came away from this book feeling let down.