I really cannot say anything different than what the other reviewers already have. The book is very well-written and quite catchy after the first 60 pages. It had a slow start - at least for me but once I got into the story, I couldn't stop reading until the very last page. It is told from 3rd person's view in present tense.
The story follows a young woman - Nella, whose father died and he has left leaving the family with debts so her marriage to a wealthy Amsterdam merchant is arranged. She arrives at his home and meets his sister Marin, who is not happy to see her, and no husband. As she waits for Johannes to appear she has to content with Marin, and the strange and unfriendly servants Cornelia and Otto. Soon Johannes appears and with him he brings his wife a spectacular gift - a miniature of the house she now lives in. But as she engages the services of a miniaturist to furnish the house Nella discovers that the inhabitants of the house are not all they seem.
The book is, in fact, beautiful. It is reasonably paced and the world-building was so well-done that even a person like me, who's never been to Amsterdam, nor is into historical fiction could get pulled into this 17th century Amsterdam. As I am accustomed to electricity it was little weird for me to read this book.
The book has everything I like - fiction, suspense and drama. I liked that there were many twist and turns, which were unexpected but also some were foreshadowed. The main characters are interesting,realistic and very-well developed. The novel circles around the true meaning of liberty, the place of women in society and their potential, the corrosive effects of secrets and of suppressing your true identity. One of the best things about this book is that it had some questions left for us to resolve. The ending is really good and I do recommend everyone into (historical)fiction go and buy this book when it hits the stores on August 25th. This is Jessie Burton's debut novel.