March 14, 2015

the year in books: february 2015

My book for february was The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. It is a really impressive debut novel set in late 17th century Amsterdam, and tells the mysterious, compelling tale of a young bride's life in a new household and a new city, and the curious wedding gift that informs and confuses her attempts to come to terms with her new life.

The historical setting is exquisitly described, I lapped up the lovingly detailed renditions of such a different time - the author's historical research was beautifully articulated and never heavy handed. I found the protagonists interesting but never fully realised, I didn't come to really care about them and feel as though  I 'knew' them as I hope to in a really good novel, but the sense of menace and pace really picks up in the second half of the story, and I enjoyed the unexplained, slightly menacing mystery of the dolls' house at the centre of the tale. Definitely an enjoyable and slightly peculiar, mesmerising read, I recommend it.

My book for March is Elizabeth is missing by Emma Healey.

A crime novel in which the main investigator has senile dementia. It sounds unusual and intriguing - I'll let you know what I think next month. If you are interested in some book reviews and ideas for reading, do check out the Circle of Pines blog 'the Year in Books' project it is fab.


  1. Currently I'm reading 'Under The Wide And Starry Sky' and loving the characters in this historical fiction novel about Robert Louis Stevenson. I love Amsterdam (I must have lived there in an earlier life), so I must check out 'The Miniaturist' - thanks for the reco!

  2. I have just finished The Miniaturist. There were parts that I really enjoyed, and lots that left me perplexed. Elizabeth Is Missing is next on my list of reads for March. It comes recommended by a friend. Enjoy!
    Leanne xx

  3. I've just read Zugzwang by Ronan Bennett.
    Very much drawn in by the vivid characters of St Petersburg in 1914.