There are many ways someone can someone else feel insignificant. Marin and Cornelia, the housekeeper, know how to make Petronella feel invisible.
Her husband, whom she barely knows, also belittles her. He buys her a dress that is way too big and give her a gift that bewilders her, a cabinet-house. The cabinet-house the rooms that she and him inhabit. Jessie Burton writes about it:
"The accuracy of the cabinet is eerie, as if the real house has been shrunk, its body sliced in two and its organs revealed. The nine rooms, from the working kitchen, the salon, up to the loft where the peat and firewood are stored away from damp, are perfect replicas."