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Extended Audio Sample The Miniaturist: A Novel, by Jessie Burton Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jessie Burton Narrator: Davina Porte Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed …”

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office, leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist—an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways.

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Miniaturist is that rarest of things—beautifully written, yet also a compelling page-turner. It’s haunting, magical, and full of surprises, the kind of book that reminds you why you fell in love with reading.”

    S. J. Watson, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep

  • “[A] haunting debut.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • The Miniaturist is one of the year’s most hyped novels, and it’s easy to see why. Burton conjures every scent and crackle of Nella’s world. A-.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Mines seventeenth-century Amsterdam for a slowly closing vise of historical suspense.”

    New York magazine

  • “A fabulously gripping read that will appeal to fans of Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch, but Burton is a genuinely new voice with her visceral take on sex, race, and class.”

    Observer (London)

  • “A fabulously gripping read that will appeal to fans of Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch, but Burton is a genuinely new voice with her visceral take on sex, race, and class.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “A talented new writer of historical fiction evokes seventeenth-century Amsterdam, the opulent but dangerous Dutch capital, where an innocent young wife must navigate the intrigues of her new household…With its oblique storytelling, crescendo of female empowerment, and wrenching ending, this novel establishes Burton as a fresh and impressive voice.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Barton‘s writing is expressive and descriptive. While her prose is rich, it does not overwhelm the story, which takes a number of sharp turns as the truths about the Brandt family are revealed. This historical novel with its strong female characters will appeal to those who enjoy the haunting undercurrents of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind.”

    Library Journal

  • “Late seventeenth-century Amsterdam is the sumptuous backdrop for this debut novel…As in all good historical novels, the setting is a major character; in this case the city of Amsterdam, with its waterways and warehouses, confectioners’ shops, and kitchens, teems with period detail. Myriad plot twists involve Brandt’s commercial activities, especially the stores of precious sugar cones from Surinam, and the tragic, fatal consequences of illicit love affairs.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “It’s a pleasure to discover an author who wields language in striking ways, and Burton’s setting and story line are equally singular. In her enticing debut, set in 1680s Amsterdam, she counterbalances her mischievous premise with stark commentary on greed, hypocrisy, and prejudice…A standout portrayal of the wide range of women’s ingenuity.”


  • “The listener is transported to Amsterdam 1686. The story starts with 18-year-old Nella Oortman, who is excitedly preparing to embark on her new married life with Johannes Brandt, a merchant. The expressive narration of Davina Porter soon shows that this is not to be a conventional marriage. The Amsterdam setting takes a back seat in this story of developing relationships between a cast of characters who become increasingly reliant on each other. Porter’s narration identifies each individual distinctively and sympathetically.”


  • An August 2014 Amazon Best Book of the Month in Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of the Week, August 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An NPR Bestseller
  • One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books, August 2014
  • Selected for the 2014 Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • A 2014 Library Journal Editor’s Pick
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • An August 2014 LibraryReads Pick
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