Well, the above was written before Laura gave the heads up that it is BABT next week so I will give it a whirl. Will my initial verdict be the correct one? Emilia Fox narrating is one enormous plus point!
Description: On a cold autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of the Dutch East India Company’s most successful merchant trader : Johannes Brandt. But her lavishly furnished new home is not welcoming, and its inhabitants seem preoccupied with their own secrets. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office which leaves Nella isolated in the grand house on the canal with his sister, the sharp-tongued Marin and Otto and Cornelia their servants as company.
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 and intricate creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways.
But as she starts to receive unexpected and unasked for items for her ‘toy house’ Nella becomes aware that the Brandt household contains unusual secrets and she begins to understand – and fear- the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society conformity is all. Neighbours are encouraged to spy on each other, excavating ‘the canker’ of sin. The packages from the mysterious miniaturist begin to reveal chillingly prophetic objects but Nella remains at a loss as to what they all mean.
Dutch dollhouse from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
1/10 Amsterdam, 1686: Nella is welcomed into married life with a strange and lavish present.
2/10 Nella continues to wonder when her husband is going to consummate their marriage.
3/10 The unlooked for package from the miniaturist has unnerved Nella, but she can’t help but be seduced by the intricate craftsmanship.
4/10 Rejected by her husband, Nella continues to feel alone in the city.
5/10 Nella decides to pay a visit to her husband at the offices of the Dutch East India Company
6/10 While Johannes is in Venice, an unwelcome visitor arrives at the Brandt household.
7/10 Nella discovers Marin’s secret, but does she fully understand its implications?
8/10 With Johannes under arrest, Nella must do what she can to sell the sugar before it rots.
9/10 The burgomasters of Amsterdam are determined to uphold their city’s god-fearing reputation
10/10 Nella bids her husband farewell and welcomes the new arrival.
Couldn’t for one minute buy into this, however it made pleasant listening and I’m sure that is not how Ms Burton wanted it. C’est la vie, cher sucre!
Ooo – only the two doll’s houses and both of those are for this production and narrator.