Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

In this 2014 novel, Jessie Burton captures the life of a Dutch wife during the seventeenth century. Petronella has just married and feels belittled by her husband who ignores her.  In keeping with the times, its an arranged marriage.

Burton records the many ways someone can make someone else feel insignificant. Marin and Cornelia, the housekeeper, know how to make Petronella feel invisible. 

Her husband, Johannes, buys her a dress that is way too big and give her a wedding gift that bewilders her, a cabinet-house. The cabinet-house mirrors 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."

Go to Part 2 for the second part of the review