Book Review: The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

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Genres: historical fiction; contemporary; magical realism

Why I read it: Cottingley fairies! I’ve known that story since I was a kid, and I’ve seen the pictures loads of times, so when I saw the word “Cottingley” in a book title, it was immediately added to my TBR and I entered the ARC giveaway on goodreads.

Who I’d recommend it to: If you like the blending of old and new stories (switching between present and past with connecting threads), a teeny bit of magical realism, and/or the mystery of the Cottingley fairies, you might like this.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (3.5 stars)

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Amazon


What it’s about:

1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?


Review:

This took me ages to get through, but it was not the book’s fault, it was me. I’ve been in this awful reading slump all year for specifically SFF books, and, while this one isn’t super fantasy-ish, it was close enough for my slump to prevent me from making it very far in. (Then my surgery happened and that made it take even longer. Ugh.)

Anyway… As I said, I entered the giveaway for this because I saw the word “Cottingley” and, paired with that cover, I was sure before I even read the description that it would be about the Cottingley fairies, which I had a bit of an obsession with as a child. If you haven’t heard of the Cottingley fairies, google it. If you have no interest at all in what happened, I’d say skip this book. But, if you’re even just a bit curious, you might like it.

The story alternates between present day with Olivia, and events from the early 20th century recorded in a memoir later in life by Frances Griffiths. Olivia is still reeling from the recent loss of her grandfather when she finds out he left her his bookshop, Something Old. But that isn’t all he left her. He also left her a cat, Hemingway (who lives in the bookshop), and a manuscript. Within the manuscript, Olivia finds links to an old photograph she had as a child, and, later, connections to her own family. As she reads the book, peculiar things begin to happen in her own life that may or may not have logical explanations.

Along the way, she learns not only about the people in the story, but also about her family and herself. She’s been dealing with a lot, and some of her indecision and uncertainty really annoyed me for a while, even though I guess it was kind of understandable. So, when she finally starts taking control of her life, I was happy for her. Olivia is not my favorite character, and I actually found her a little boring at times, but by the end of the book I was definitely rooting for her.

For those of you who don’t like romance, don’t worry, it’s not really a part of this story. It’s there, kind of, but it isn’t a major plot point or anything and almost no time is spent on it. This is mostly about family and connections and accepting who you are and learning to stand on your own.

I expected to really love the Cottingley parts of this book, but I didn’t. (I did like them, I just didn’t love them.) It was an interesting way to go about mingling past and present in a historical fiction novel, but some of it seemed to drag by (that could have been the slump, though). I can’t imagine what Frances’s life was like, dealing with her father being away fighting in the war, and having her entire life altered so drastically. So, I felt for her, but her narrative wasn’t as compelling as I hoped it would be. Elsie honestly kind of irritated me, and most of the other characters didn’t leave much of an impression (they were minor). The exception to that was Ellen. My heart broke for her and I wanted the fairies to be real, just for her.

I’d really love to read Frances Griffiths’s own book (books?) about the Cottingley fairies, though, to see how much of the truth made it into this book. I do know that at least some of the “memoir” in this book lines up with what Frances said after confessing about the photographs.

For those who don’t know or care to look it up, Frances and Elsie confessed in the ’80s that they had faked the photographs. Why did they wait over 60 years? Because they’d fooled the world. Even Arthur Conan Doyle was taken in by their story, and subsequently wrote a couple of articles about it featuring the now famous photographs. (Yes, that Arthur Conan Doyle. He was a spiritualist and actually wrote a book about fairies called The Coming of the Fairies, though not many people know about it now.)

Basically, even though we know it was a hoax now, it’s still fascinating to read about, if you’re into this kind of thing. As for the fifth photograph (“The Fairy Bower”), I like to think Frances was telling the truth about that one.

…perhaps believing in fairies was more important than seeing them. In belief, there is hope and wonder. In seeing, there is often question and doubt.

Whether you believe/want to believe in fairies or not, this is still a great historical fiction novel, and I do recommend it. The writing is enchanting all on its own, the story has just a touch of magic, and the characters are so alive and believably human.

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First Lines Fridays: August 11th

first-lines-fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

The Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first

Finally… reveal the book!

 


Fairies will not be rushed. I know this now; know I must be patient. 


 

 

Interested? Keep reading to find out which book this is from.

 

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The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

 

32600721What it’s about:

1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


This was another goodreads giveaway win for me, and I’m so excited! I’ve always been fascinated by the Cottingley fairies story, and I’ve read a lot about it online over the years.

(I was actually supposed to start this last month and review it for release day on the 1st of August, but the unexpected ER visit and surgery kind of threw off my reading schedule :/ )

First Lines Fridays: July 14th

first-lines-fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

The Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first

Finally… reveal the book!

 


They said I must die. They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine. 


 

 

Interested? Keep reading to find out which book this is from.

 

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

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cover; links to goodreads

What it’s about:

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


I was on the fence about this for a while, but I kept seeing it around and finally just grabbed a copy when I found it on sale. Now that I’ve actually read the description, and heard good things about it, I’m kind of wondering why I didn’t seek it out sooner because it sounds like something I could love.


If you’ve read it, what did you think of it? If you haven’t read it, is it on your TBR, too?

 

Must Read Mondays: June 26th

must-read-mondays

Must Read Monday is a weekly thing I do here to recommend books I’ve read and enjoyed. I might sometimes throw in something I gave 3 stars to, but for the most part they’re books I gave a 4-5 star rating to. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily amazing literature, but it does mean I liked them enough to recommend them to other people.


The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

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When I read it: February 2017

Genres: YA; historical

Recommended for: If you liked the show Xena, or have ever thought, “I wish I could read a story about gladiator girls,” this book is for you.

(I reviewed it here)

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

 


What it’s about:

Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.


I had an ARC and devoured this in a day, then went out and bought the hardcover when it was released. It was that good. I want to say I had been in a slump and this was what got me out of it, too, but I could be remembering that wrong.

Quick story time: when I was a kid and teenager, I freaking loved Xena. Like, along with Buffy, Charmed, and a couple of Disney shows probably no one else remembers, it was my favorite show that I had to watch when it was on, whether it was new episodes or reruns. I would have almost sold my soul to have a book that was even a little like that show.

While this book isn’t exactly like Xena (it actually doesn’t have a lot in common with the show, from what I can remember now), younger me would have been obsessed with this book, and probably cried frustrated tears because it ended. (In all honesty, grownup me became obsessed and almost cried tears of frustration.)

I’m now anxiously waiting for more info about the sequel, because I’ll be all over that, and might even pre-order it, which is a thing I almost never do. So far it looks like it’s called The Defiant and has an expected February 2018 release date. (I’m screaming in my head because I. Can’t. WAIT.)

Girl fights that aren’t over a boy, strong friendships, strong characters (both because they’re realistic and well developed, and they can kick some ass), a bit of history and mythology, very little romance (it’s there, but not super important to the story), and a fast plot made this one of my favorite books read in the first half of the year. I definitely recommend it.


If you’ve read The Valiant, what did you think of it?

 

ARC Review: The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life by Sharon Pywell

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Genres: historical fiction; romance; mystery; magical realism(?)

Why I read it: The cover caught my eye on Net Galley, and the description sounded really interesting.

Who I’d recommend it to: Historical fiction fans (around WWII era), people who enjoyed The Lovely Bones, maybe fans of The Princess Bride, and probably romance lovers who like romances that aren’t just romances.

Publication date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 304 ebook | 320 hardcover

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


What it’s about:

Neave and Lilly Terhune couldn’t be more different. Lilly is a beauty who runs through men like water. Neave, having been told at an early age by their mother that she will not be able to get by on her looks, always has her head in a book. Her favorite is The Pirate Lover, a romance novel about a young woman who refuses marriage to the highest bidder and instead escapes to the high seas where she meets the love of her life.

During WWII, when the men are gone, both sisters start working. But when the servicemen return and take back their jobs, Neave and Lilly are left with few options besides marriage. But they have other ideas. They start to build a makeup business (think Avon in its early days) and soon have a hit on their hands. But just as their business is truly taking off, Lilly disappears and Neave must figure out what happened. Luckily, she has Lilly’s assistance helping from above, even if she doesn’t know it quite yet.

Alternating between the sisters’ story and that of Neave’s beloved Pirate Lover book, Sharon Pywell shows how all romantic relationships have dark undercurrents, how even the most cerebral amongst us can enjoy a swashbuckling, page-turning romance, and how sometimes the guiltiest of pleasures might contain essential kernels of truth.


Review:

I almost skimmed on by this one (having seen the word “romance” in the title) while I was browsing Net Galley, but the cover hooked me. I saw the (possible) pirate ship, became curious, then I read the description and I knew I had to read it. I’m going to preface the rest of this by saying that I am not much of a romance reader. I can enjoy romance in books, and I like a few romances I’ve read, but it’s not a genre I read much of.

This story reminded me a lot of The Lovely Bones (well, what I remember of it, at least, because I read it about 13 years ago), which doesn’t bother me because I enjoyed that book as well, but maybe this won’t be for you if you hated everything about The Lovely Bones. The similarities are there, but this didn’t read like it was trying to imitate anything else. It was unique and strange, a little confusing at times, but ultimately quite enjoyable. I’m not always a fan of stories told from multiple points of view, but this is an example of it being done well.

I think this could have been a five star book for me, but I didn’t love any of the characters. I wanted to, but I didn’t connect much to any of them, and at times I just didn’t like any of them. I related to Neave in some ways, with her bookish and headstrong nature, but sometimes she didn’t seem quite real enough for me, like there was something missing. By the end, I felt like she was finally starting to stand on her own two feet more, but before that, it felt more like she was living in her sister’s shadow. She was independent, and capable of taking charge, but I think she lacked the confidence she needed until close to the end.

Lilly annoyed me, but eventually she grew on me a little. I still don’t love her, but I like her more. In some ways, I understood her more than Neave, even though I’m more like Neave. I’m not sure if that was because of how she was written, or if she reminds me of people I’m close to in real life, but I feel like she was a bit more fleshed out than Neave. Lilly’s perspective was strange, and there were some things that were not really explained. That would usually annoy me a lot, and feel lazy, but in this particular story, I think it worked. I would still like to know more about “Where she is now,” but I’m not too bothered by it.

Their other siblings and the rest of the minor characters had enough development to fit into the story, but I wish we’d gotten a bit more time with some of them. I really wanted to know more about Ruga, in particular.

While I know that the 1930s-1950s was a drastically different time in many ways, and people thought differently about a lot of things then, Neave and Lilly’s parents really annoyed me. There were a few things they said about certain things (that I won’t say because spoilers) that made me so angry, and I was glad to see my feelings reflected in Neave’s reactions and thoughts. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I felt like this book also functioned as social commentary on present issues concerning gender roles and expectations, and the way women are treated. This was set decades before I was even born, but from what I know based on TV, things I’ve read, and anecdotes from people who were around then, it seems reasonably accurate, and the fact that women today are experiencing the same issues they were dealing with 60 years ago is disturbing.

But, on the more positive side of things, the independence Neave and Lilly had was refreshing. It was nice reading about two driven women who built their business from the ground up and were successful, whether they were married or not, at a time when it was pretty much unthinkable for women to be so independent. The way they used it to help empower other women and help them was also great.

Woven throughout Neave and Lilly’s story is that of The Pirate Lover, a fictional romance novel Neave has read and re-read many times and loves. It’s full of typical romance tropes (the distressed heroine, the rakish and wealthy hero, the abominable villain, blossoming love, fighting evil, etc.), and it’s wonderful. It’s meant to be very trope-y, and because of that almost satiric storytelling, it’s delightful. (I wouldn’t mind reading it if it were a real book.) The events of The Pirate Lover are reflected in Lilly and Neave’s story in increasingly more unsettling ways throughout the book, and I think Sharon Pywell did an amazing job with entwining these two narratives.

I had a difficult time trying to nail down some genres to categorize this one as, because it’s a bit genre-defying. While it does use a lot of romance novel tropes, there’s also some drama, crime, mystery, magical realism, and probably others. It’s definitely not a book I’ll soon forget, and I’m so glad I managed to get an ARC. This isn’t really relevant, but I have to say that I actually squealed when I read the title of the final chapter. I thought that quote would make an appearance somewhere in the book, and I was so happy to see it!


I have to recommend this book, even if you–like me–are not a romance reader. It was such a unique story, and I think it could appeal to a lot of different people.

If you read it, I would love to know what you think!

Book Review: The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (it’s also release day!)

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Genres: YA; historical fiction; some people say fantasy but I’m on the fence

Why I read it: The cover caught my eye, then I read the description and knew I had to read it. I entered a goodreads giveaway and got lucky.

Release date: February 14, 2017 (today!)

Who I’d recommend it to: YA and historical fiction fans, especially if you want to read about warrior women. People who enjoyed the show Xena: Warrior Princess.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  5 well earned stars

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

 

What it’s about:

Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in her father’s war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured by ruthless brigands who sell her to an elite training school for female gladiators owned by none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon s family might be her only hope of survival.
Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, deadly fights in and out of the arena, and perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier and her sworn enemy.

Review:

I seriously had to take about 12 hours to calm myself down after I finished this before I could even try to start this review. To be completely honest, I’m almost a little sad that I’ve read it already, because now I’m going to have to wait so long for the sequel

The thing that drew me to this first, as I said, was the cover. I’m not actually a fan of cover models, in general, but I saw this and thought, “Huh. She looks like a female gladiator.” So I read the description and knew I was going to have to read this ASAP. The description sounded so great, and the book did not disappoint.

I honestly loved Fallon for most of the book, and her relationship with Elka, the Lady Achillea, and the other gladiatrices was awesome. It was so nice to read about girls competing against each other for something other than a boy, and I think the friendship between Fallon and Elka was awesome. They really reminded me of sisters (which is what the gladiatrices are supposed to be like for each other). The dynamics between all the gladiatrices pretty much went as expected for sisters, too. There were rivalries (both friendly and not), jealousy, respect, loyalty, and love. I feel like this had really good representation for female friendships, and I liked that about this book.

Reading about female gladiators was so fascinating, and I almost forgot I was reading fiction a few times. I’ve wondered if there were female gladiators, but I think (from my brief googling) it had been debated a lot for a long time, but now we can reasonably assume they did exist, we just don’t have much record of them.

The romance doesn’t take up as much of the plot as I expected, and I wanted to scream my love for this book from the rooftops for that. I like romance alright, sometimes, but I’m just tired of it being such a huge part of nearly every plot of nearly every book I read. The romance is there, and it’s somewhat important, but it’s honestly more like a sub-plot, and I’m so happy about that, even though I’m kind of rooting for Fallon and Cai, now. I think  I read somewhere that it was an “insta-love” thing with them, but I disagree. The amount of time that passes isn’t all that short, if I remember correctly. I mean, it is a bit short, but I think it was long enough so they’d have had time to actually develop feelings for each other.

From what little I know about ancient Rome, the history was accurate, or at least totally believable. While I was reading this, I felt like Lesley Livingston really put a lot of effort into research for the story, and that made the reading experience so much better. I kept making notes of things to look up, and it was a blast for me, because I’ve always loved history.

The world didn’t really leap off the page for me, but I didn’t actually notice that until after I’d finished reading (and calmed down). There were details, and I definitely got a vague image in my head for all the places we see in the book, but the characters are what truly shine about this book. I think I would have liked maybe a few more details about some things, like the arena at the end, but I was perfectly fine with how it was written, so that’s not a complaint.

This has been shelved as fantasy, but…I didn’t really get much of a fantasy vibe. There are a few odd things that happen involving the goddess Fallon’s people worship (The Morrigan), but I’m hesitating to call this fantasy. Maybe historical fiction with the tiniest dash of fantasy?

I have to recommend this book, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing so a lot. It was just so good, and I think it might have helped banish the book funk I’ve been in for a few weeks. I just couldn’t put it down after things got started, because it was fast paced and so much was happening. It’s just really good, and is probably making the top 3 or so of my favorites this year.

 

If you’ve already read it, what did you think? If you haven’t read it yet, do you think you will? If you love it as much as I did, feel free to come scream about it with me!

 

Book Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

the-miniaturist
Genres: historical fiction; mystery

Why I read it: The premise and gorgeous cover
grabbed my attention when it was
published, and it’s been sitting on my shelf calling to me for a long time. I’m also using it for the 2017 PopSugar Reading Challenge task “A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited.”

Who I’d recommend it to: I’m not sure I would recommend it.

My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ (2.5 stars)

Goodreds | Amazon | Book Depository Barnes & Noble

What it’s about:

In 16th century Amsterdam, eighteen year old Petronella “Nella” Brandt (nee Oortman) has married Johannes Brandt, a wealthy merchant. When she arrives at her new home, her expectations of what her life will be are quickly dashed and she finds herself lonely, confused, and frustrated. Her husband spends most of his time at home locked in his study, leaving Nella to deal mostly with her spinster sister-in-law, Marin, who is controlling and hostile. Johannes presents Nella with a lavish cabinet house–an exact replica of their own home–as a wedding gift, and encourages her to furnish it as a means of entertaining herself. When she requests the services of a miniaturist, she gets more than she bargained for with the eerily realistic pieces she receives, and the secrets they help her uncover.

The more she discovers about the new people in her life, and the secrets they hold, the more she grows to fear their precarious situation. In this pious society, money and God are worshipped as equals by many, but she soon finds that wealth can only help so much. Only one person seems able to see it all–the truth, the lies, and possibly the fates of them all–the miniaturist. But the miniaturist is elusive, and Nella doesn’t know if the strange gifts she’s receiving for her cabinet house are meant to serve as a warning that might save them, or something more sinister.

 

Review:

This book was so hyped when it came out, and the combination of that, the description, and the gorgeous cover landed it on my TBR list pretty quickly. I went into this with fairly high expectations, but unfortunately I wasn’t as enthralled as many people seem to be.

I found most of the characters difficult to like or sympathize with, and I only really liked Cornelia and Hanna (the latter being a minor character). Johannes was a character I think I could have liked, if we’d gotten to know him better. Nella was annoying for me, and I found her character most unbelievable, particularly how she handled the revelation she received about her husband. Marin, Johannes’s sister, was mostly just awful. She treated Nella horribly, and I had a difficult time believing she could have conducted herself the way she did during the time period, but given what little we know of Johannes, who knows. The Meerman’s were atrocious, and frankly I hope they pay for the things they did. The same goes for Jack. I can’t really comment on Otto, because he wasn’t focused on much, but I think I would have liked him. Some of the interactions were so unbelievable, or even ridiculous. I just couldn’t imagine it really happening the way it was written, if these characters were real. (Maybe I have a more difficult time with suspension of disbelief or something, or maybe this book just wasn’t for me.)

One thing I meant to mention, but had to come back to add because I forgot, is the chapter length. I have a preference for shorter chapters, and this book has them, which I found really nice. Each chapter moved smoothly and I never had the feeling of, “Ugh, will this ever end?” like I do with some books with longer chapters.

This book was really difficult for me to stay interested in, at least for about the first half. I think it took me a little over 2 weeks to read the first 200 pages, but then I finished the second half in one evening. I kept expecting there to be more to the story than there was, and I don’t think anything surprised me. I wish it had kept me guessing, but it didn’t.

I wasn’t a big fan of the writing style. At times it seemed like the antiquated was being forcefully combined with modern language, and it didn’t work for me. I can’t say much about the historical accuracy, because I know next to nothing about the Netherlands in the 17th century, but (from what little I do know, combined with what I know of other parts of Europe around that time) I think the author did do a reasonable amount of research, which is appreciated. ****Spoiler**** The ending honestly really annoyed me, even after I went back and re-read the cryptic first chapter. I continued reading this, despite my lack of investment in the story or characters, to get answers about the miniaturist, and we really don’t learn anything of significance.****end spoiler****

This isn’t a book I would recommend to many people, but I’m not saying it isn’t worth reading. The concept was interesting, and I think the book was well-written enough to be enjoyable by some people, so I’m sad to say I wasn’t one of the many who did love it. If one is ever written, I would possibly consider reading a sequel, but I definitely would not purchase it or rush to find a copy. That said, I am considering reading more by Jessie Burton in the future, but I’m still undecided and therefore will borrow from the library.

 

Have you read The Miniaturist? What did you think?