It’s an absorbing and compelling read. The historical detail of seventeenth century Amsterdam is fascinating. The characters are fully drawn and likeable. The plot twists and surprises to the very end. Despite all of this, I was a little disappointed. I was left feeling dumb because I just didn’t get the point of the miniaturist in the plot. I thought that the book had a good enough story without the voodoo angle. Maybe I’m just missing something or getting too old for magic. (Photo credit to the Small Girl.)
The Miniaturist reminded me of another book set on the Herengracht, fifty years earlier, which I read in 2000. Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach is a fast-paced fable, warning of the dangers of lust, greed and ambition.
I read it again and loved it again. It’s short and has super-short chapters which shift perspective at a dizzy-ing rate. For pace and suspense, Deborah Moggach could give Dan Brown a run for his money. It includes illustrations by Dutch masters (where Us left me to do my own googling of, bizarrely, the same pictures). If it was possible to plot easy-to-read versus satisfying, this book would surely come out on top. The plot, in some ways, is even more far-fetched than that of The Miniaturist but, to me, it made more sense.
A movie of Tulip Fever is coming soon. A script by Tom Stoppard and a role for Judi Dench bode well. Cressida Bonas, best known as Prince Harry’s Ex, has a part and apparently Harry Styles was offered a role, more here. I am intrigued.
We went for a walk around Fota Gardens last autumn and I might have stolen a couple of poppy seed-heads (no telling). In March, I found the envelope labelled ‘mystery seeds from Fota’ and I just scattered them willy-nilly around the new perennial border.