This book has been on my ‘want to read’ list since its release, and I finally got it, and finally worked it to the top of my TBR pile. It was worth the wait. I’m not sure it’s a sensible idea to write a review while you’re still mourning the loss of a book, but I felt it was a tribute this novel deserved.
The Miniaturist is a thriller. It’s a romance. It’s a coming of age novel. It’s a mystery, a family drama. It’s historical fiction, literary fiction. It’s everything. But it does it all with such a delicate grace, you’ll barely even realise.
It didn’t take long for this to become a book I couldn’t put down. I read it during TV advert breaks, I pushed back bedtimes for one more chapter, I wandered round the house completing chores with it in my hand. I dreamt about it, thought about it constantly. I devoured the middle of this book ravenously.
The plot feels like a sedate Sunday walk, but when you emerge, you realise you’ve ploughed through several chapters in no time at all. It’s so deftly sinister, so cautiously malevolent. I was so wrapped up in the beautiful language, the gentle touches, the social graces of the story, that I didn’t realise what was happening until it was far too late.
But even by putting the book down, by putting off reading the last few chapters as the characters’ situations became more desperate, I couldn’t keep them safe. And I hadn’t even realised I’d fallen in love with them.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book, but be warned; it’s not for the faint of heart. It squeezes when you least expect it, it offers you sugared walnuts with one hand while the other leaves you emotionally bereft.