Okay all you bookworms, I got a little something for you. I only do book reviews when I really think the book deserved to be buzzed about (or if it was so awful that I don’t think any human should read it, ever.) But The Miniaturist definitely deserves to be buzzed about!
My first take on it was just how refreshing it was to read! Within the sea of newly published print that are piled up in Waterstones, WH Smith and are top selling on Amazon – Burton’s book stood out to me. Okay, you know the whole ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? – (C’mon I know we all do it) and I’ll admit I did that with this one, it was Waterstones’ whole ‘limited edition book cover’ and the ‘exclusive only at Waterstones’ promotions that got me – and I was bloody glad it did! It’s a rare gem that is beautiful inside and out, Burton’s writing style is reminiscent of the classical greats, yet the modern twists of language and its fluidity when telling the story is what makes it unique.
So, now about the actual story….
Burton takes us back all the way to the year 1686, Amsterdam and with the year and setting this story immediately oozes a uniqueness and quality that other recent publications lack. Although the story is written in English the thing that makes it different is the Amsterdam-ian phrases that Burton slips into the story when talking about a certain type of food or dress, it brings the culture of the setting alive!
The reader is viewing this world through the eyes of our protagonist, the very young Petronella as we witness the way she adjust to her newly married life and the complications she also has been married to. We are whisked back to the very old, highly religious and traditional ways of society where there are clear divisions of those that are prestigious and the paupers. The characters Burton has created live in a world we are not familiar with, we gain a taste of the harshness of the real world yet it offers a hint of a fairy-tale – from evil sister in-laws to slaves and secrets, it’s constantly full of surprises! It made me go ‘WHAT!?’ a couple of times with a few gasps and once maybe I think I was like ‘NOOOO’ whilst my jaw had dropped for a few pages. So yeah, the perfect page-turner and in my opinion, a modern classic.
And I suppose that’s all I can really say without giving it all away!
If you’ve already read it and loved it as much as I did – or maybe you hated it, its not everybody cup of tea – but I’d still love to hear your opinions! 😉 And recommendations for reads are always in need, so please give me some! Need something to escape from my uni reading list!