The House of Fortune

Bloomsbury. (The Miniaturist, Bk. 2). Aug. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781635579741. $28. F
Fans of Burton’s best-selling novel The Miniaturist will find this a worthy and satisfying sequel. In 1705 Amsterdam, Thea Brandt is celebrating her 18th birthday. The joy of the occasion is muted by her family’s refusal to speak of her mother (who died giving birth to Thea), their strained finances, and Thea’s recent moodiness. Her father, Otto, is struggling to see Thea as an adult, and her Aunt Nella is determined to get her married into a comfortable life free of the woes Nella has faced as a widow with diminishing fortunes in status-obsessed Amsterdam. An invitation to a ball hosted by one of Amsterdam’s wealthiest families introduces the Brandts to a well-off young man, to a strange pineapple grower, and possibly to the miniaturist who sent Nella oddly prescient gifts years ago, when the miniaturist herself was 18. Will these three people help the Brandts return to their prior life of fortune, or will their carefully crafted façade finally crumble?
VERDICT A beautifully written and wholly engrossing tale. New readers will be delighted that they can enjoy this book without having read the first one, but they’ll probably seek it out to spend a bit more time in Burton’s magical Amsterdam.
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