The Miniaturist

This was a lackluster recommendation from a friend, for good reason. Another fairly mediocre book, but one I found myself reading all the way through. Set in Amsterdam, late 17th century, an 18-year-old girl arrives at her husband’s house only to find herself an ignored appendage of the household. The hubby prefers men (and we get a detailed In flagrante delicto scene, lovely) and comes to an understanding with his young wife. The husband’s sister dominates the household but has her own secret– she’s carrying the child of their black servant. Husband gives the wife a wedding present of a miniature house, and she sets out to furnish it, stumbling into the mysterious world of the miniaturist, whose powers of observation are beyond psychic. A heap of sugar goes spoiling in hubby’s warehouse and he’s set up by an old friend and an old lover. Punishment for sodomy is drowning, and we suffer through the beatings and trial to get to the point where he is dunked with millstones into the water, never to arise. The sister dies in childbirth (of course!) and the runaway servant returns to peep his child. Drama of a middling sort.