Alright so a little back story before I get into the review. I put my name down on the wait list for this book in February after seeing someone put a picture of it on Instagram. It was a gorgeous cover so I wanted to read it. Yes, I judge books by their cover. That’s how and why I read most of my books. ANYWAY. I waited and waited, eventually it was a book for the BookClubOfInstagram and that came and went and still no book. I finally got the book about two weeks ago and finished it yesterday. What an interesting story.
Some spoilers might follow.
I am a huge fan of anything miniature. My mom has a knitted Winnie the Pooh doll that is smaller than my smallest finger nail. My mom’s love for small things rubbed off on me and I have loved them since I was a little girl. Now having an entire doll house with miniature things would be awesome. This book came off as a little spooky when Nella started receiving the miniatures of things in her house as well as the dolls of the people in her family or the people involved in their family. I almost wish that she had payed more attention to the dolls in the first place and some things might have been avoided. No guarantees though. Some things may have happened no matter what.
I really liked the characters in the book. Marin was one of my favorites because she was such a firm believer that women should have equal rights as men and she fought to have that in her own house. Even though Johannes was the “man” of the house, she was the one who made sure that every thing ran smoothly, balanced the books, kept everyone in line, and she wasn’t married. I love seeing such strong female characters who know what they want in their lives and they go for it. She didn’t need or want a man in her life so she chose not to have one. Nella grew from the beginning to the end. At first she believes all the things that are forced into women’s heads about having a family and that having children is all that women are good for and that if she can’t have children she is less of a woman (that bothered me btw. As a feminist it was a little irking to read that. I know that the book takes place in the late 1600’s but that mindset still bothers me.) and she eventually came to believe that men don’t have to run the household and eventually she did run everything herself without a man in her life. Johannes’ character was alright. Although he cared about Nella and such, he didn’t really have the growth and character development that I was hoping for. He was more of a problem that had to be solved which is interesting when it comes to books because men usually aren’t the “problem”.
I really liked Cornelia and Otto as well even though they kind of seemed more like side characters than a main character and then there is the Miniaturist. Now here is the part of the story that bugged me the most. Who was the miniaturist? Apparently, she shares the same name as the main character, Petronella, and I figured that since she had some prophetic abilities that maybe she was the same person and she time traveled or something to warn herself of what would happen. But that isn’t the case. Apart from the first chapter of the book, you have no idea who she really is or why she does what she does. So why am I annoyed? It felt like the book was hanging in the end. Although some things were solved, there were actually more questions by the end of the book than I had in the beginning. AND the main question that I had was why the miniaturist does the things she does and STILL there is no answer. I know that this book was kind of supposed to mimic life in a way where nothing goes as planned and you don’t always get what you want, BUT STILL.
This book pretty much described how things behind closed doors are not always what they seem. In a way, it reminds me of daily life. When you go online and you see your friends or people you follow and you look at all the awesome things they are doing or the places they are going and whom they are hanging out with, you see what they want you to see. But do you actually know what is going on in their real lives? Probably not for the most part. It’s the same with this book. Things and people were not as they seemed and the glimpses that people got were far from the truth.
While I enjoyed this book and how interesting it was to see into a life that was not my own (I can be nosy too…), I was a bit disappointed by the ending. I understand that not all stories have a happy ending and that sometimes characters have to die, but I wanted to know more about the miniaturist and how they were going to cope with both Marin and Johannes gone. There were too many questions and it was not a satisfying end. Overall just okay.