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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
2,802
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 8 January 2016
Very disappointed by this in the end.

The book is well written, describing life in Amsterdam for a newly wed girl from the countryside. As a historical fiction novel the characters work well and a multitude of possibilities could be explored for a cracking storyline. The introduction of the mysterious "miniaturist" of the title and the arrival of beautiful but prophetic miniature models introduces a supernatural element. This is why I bought the book, the mystery and allure of the Miniaturist bound to well written historical fiction set in Amsterdam.

So what went wrong. The 'miniatures' theme peters out into a total dead end, is not explained satisfactorily and it appears that the author just gave up on it in the end. Perhaps she just couldn't explain it herself after winding deeper and deeper into a supernatural aspect.

So what a pity, a really well written book that fails to explain the reason for including the title theme. One of those books that you reach the end of and think - "is that it?" and swipe the e-reader frantically searching for the missing ending and explanations that ultimately are not provided.
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on 2 February 2017
Very disappointing. Far too much unnecessary descriptions about things which had little relevance. I felt it was rather amateurish.The plot wasn't really clear and it took ages to get to a decisive moment. Skipped pages just to see if there was any confrontation of the blond women who stared and kept disappearing and then just gave up.
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Even though there are a lot of great reviews out there. I had to give up half way through the book and that is very unusual for me! I just could not identify with the time period and place where it was set. I also found the characters poorly written.
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on 20 July 2016
I found this book very well written, and it is indeed suspenseful as you want to find out more about the titular Miniaturist, however by the end I felt a little bit disappointed and unsatisfied. The descriptions given within the book for characters, places and objects are lovely - they allowed me to imagine whatever was being described, without going into too much detail (I especially enjoyed the descriptions of food, they managed to make me hungry!).

The story moves on at a good pace, keeping you reading and wondering throughout. I particularly enjoyed Petronella's character development, from a naive young girl into somebody much more headstrong and mature. However, I read this on a kindle (where you can see how much percentage of the book you have completed), and as I was nearing the end and wanting to find out more about the Miniaturist, there seemed to be less and less space in which the author could do it. The last 15% of the book seems rather rushed and everything happens at once. I kept on reading largely because of the mystery surrounding the Miniaturist, however by the end I feel it is not really explained - even though the title of the book focuses on The Miniaturist, I feel like the Miniaturist got forgotten amongst the rest of the characters and the story, in the end making it feel more like a plot device to keep you reading, rather than as an interesting entity on its own.
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on 29 December 2015
I enjoyed this book somewhat but as another reviewer said, it felt as if she abandoned the actual plotline of the miniaturist when she got bored with it. It had a lot of potential which could have been built upon but ended in a flop. You could have taken the entire thing out of the novel and it wouldn't have changed anything. Maybe it was just a sideline & a curiosity alongside events intended to be the actual focus of the novel, but it was brought in too deeply and made too mysterious to have such a bland ending to it: either it should have remained a less mysterious curiosity, or been developed properly.

I wouldn't massively recommend it to be honest
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on 26 September 2016
I expected to really like this, but I ended up at the other end of the scale. Undoubtedly, it is very well written. However, there are gaping holes in the plot and (without wanting to add spoilers) the lack of resolution of certain central plot elements is disappointing in the extreme.
I don't mind a bit of Ishiguro style 'mono no aware' every now and again, but I found the ending of this untidy and frustrating.
I would read another book by her though, as she definitely has talent.
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on 25 June 2017
Started off in a promising fashion. However some of the characters felt underdeveloped and therefore you lost interest in them. The end was almost as if the author couldn't be bothered anymore or got bored with her own tale or maybe realised she had a holiday to go on or something else to do that was more interesting. I could understand if it was part of a series but no, just left dangling in mid air. As my title says, disappointing considering the hype.
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on 9 September 2015
This book takes you to old Amsterdam rich and puritanical. The young bride Nella steps into an unknown world, she sees and experiences a lot that she does not understand. Sometimes the conversations of the characters are so odd and irritatingly oblique, but their mysteries are gradually unveiled into a shocking and poignant story. The people of Amsterdam envy each other and are encouraged to spy upon each other which gives the story of feeling of claustrophobia. There is some well researched and interesting historical detail and the characters are graphically depicted. Well worth a read.
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on 9 March 2017
Really overrated. I found the book quite hard to read and rather depressing!
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on 5 April 2017
I loved this book, I had the indulgence of it being a holiday read which meant I could properly commit my time, effort and imagination to it. Brilliantly written, well researched, and the dynamics of the characters and the historical time frame gave this read a wonderful depth along with the read being an enthralling mystery. I would not and do not hesitate to recommend to any one who asks for a good read.
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