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The House of Fortune

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Alive with the magic of Amsterdam, the enchanting new historical novel from the author of the sensational New York Times bestseller The Miniaturist, which has sold more than two million copies. In 1705 Amsterdam, Thea Brandt is coming of age, trying to grapple with her family's secrets and her own identity as a young Dutch-African woman. She's drawn to the theater and an a Alive with the magic of Amsterdam, the enchanting new historical novel from the author of the sensational New York Times bestseller The Miniaturist, which has sold more than two million copies. In 1705 Amsterdam, Thea Brandt is coming of age, trying to grapple with her family's secrets and her own identity as a young Dutch-African woman. She's drawn to the theater and an artistic life, but with her family in serious financial decline, pressure is on Thea to marry up in society. As her father and Aunt Nella work desperately to save the family home and catastrophe threatens to engulf them, Thea seeks refuge in the arms of her secret lover, Walter, the chief set-painter at her favorite theater. But the thrill of their romance is shadowed by another secret she keeps close: Her birthday marks the day her mother, Marin, died in labor. Thea's family refuses to share the details of the story, just as they seem terrified to speak of the shadowy artist from their past whose tiny figurines seem to capture the things most carefully hidden away. Aunt Nella believes the solution to Thea's problems is to find her a husband, and an unexpected invitation to Amsterdam's most exclusive ball seems like a golden opportunity. But when a miniature figure of Walter turns up on Thea's doorstep, it becomes clear that someone out there has another fate in mind for the family- and that perhaps the new beginning Thea seeks won't depend on a man. A feat of sweeping, magical storytelling, The House of Fortune is an unputdownable novel about love and obsession, family and loyalty, and the fantastic power of secrets.


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Alive with the magic of Amsterdam, the enchanting new historical novel from the author of the sensational New York Times bestseller The Miniaturist, which has sold more than two million copies. In 1705 Amsterdam, Thea Brandt is coming of age, trying to grapple with her family's secrets and her own identity as a young Dutch-African woman. She's drawn to the theater and an a Alive with the magic of Amsterdam, the enchanting new historical novel from the author of the sensational New York Times bestseller The Miniaturist, which has sold more than two million copies. In 1705 Amsterdam, Thea Brandt is coming of age, trying to grapple with her family's secrets and her own identity as a young Dutch-African woman. She's drawn to the theater and an artistic life, but with her family in serious financial decline, pressure is on Thea to marry up in society. As her father and Aunt Nella work desperately to save the family home and catastrophe threatens to engulf them, Thea seeks refuge in the arms of her secret lover, Walter, the chief set-painter at her favorite theater. But the thrill of their romance is shadowed by another secret she keeps close: Her birthday marks the day her mother, Marin, died in labor. Thea's family refuses to share the details of the story, just as they seem terrified to speak of the shadowy artist from their past whose tiny figurines seem to capture the things most carefully hidden away. Aunt Nella believes the solution to Thea's problems is to find her a husband, and an unexpected invitation to Amsterdam's most exclusive ball seems like a golden opportunity. But when a miniature figure of Walter turns up on Thea's doorstep, it becomes clear that someone out there has another fate in mind for the family- and that perhaps the new beginning Thea seeks won't depend on a man. A feat of sweeping, magical storytelling, The House of Fortune is an unputdownable novel about love and obsession, family and loyalty, and the fantastic power of secrets.

30 review for The House of Fortune

  1. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    This is the sequel to The Miniaturist, which I loved. This book starts with Thea celebrating her eighteenth birthday and attending Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball at which potential husbands are met. There is one candidate that aunt Nella likes a lot, but not so much Thea as she has her heart set on Walter, painter at playhouse. And as it turns out, someone else knows her secret and now demands money or Nella’s life will be ruined. As the story is mainly about family dynamics/secrets, there is ve This is the sequel to The Miniaturist, which I loved. This book starts with Thea celebrating her eighteenth birthday and attending Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball at which potential husbands are met. There is one candidate that aunt Nella likes a lot, but not so much Thea as she has her heart set on Walter, painter at playhouse. And as it turns out, someone else knows her secret and now demands money or Nella’s life will be ruined. As the story is mainly about family dynamics/secrets, there is very little to the plot. The family dynamics are well-presented. Young Thea represents a character that despite family’s expectations she tries to forge her own path, but she struggles with it. Her character is to learn from her experience and come stronger at the end, and I believe that is the main point of the story. It could be also family struggles against society’s expectations. Nevertheless, I don’t see a strong point of this story. The characters are well-developed and kept me engaged for about the first third of the story. In the second third, the story is not making much progression and the characters start losing their appeal. It picks up in the third part of the story, with some events happening. This story is character-driven, which I love, and based on family dynamics/secrets, which doesn't necessarily appeal to me. Thus, I was hoping for strong sense of place in regards to Amsterdam to give the story more vibrancy. But it’s not there. The miniaturist appears a few times in this story, but it’s just a mention of her and some miniatures. It is a bit confusing what that is about. In the first book, it is the miniature copy of the house they live in and then followed by miniature things that fill the house. In this following book, I’m not sure what this is about. It feels forced in the story, as it had to be somehow woven since it’s the sequel book. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  2. 4 out of 5

    karen

    fulfilling my 2022 goal to read one book each month that was not published in my country that i wanted badly enough to have a copy shipped to me from abroad and then...never read. day four of my "i have covid readathon!" i pre-ordered a lovely special edition of this book from waterstone's, pause for ooohh and ahhhhh and even though i ended up reading my US-ARC copy, i'm counting it towards this monthly goal because i COULD have read my pretty one before it pubs here next month. confession completed fulfilling my 2022 goal to read one book each month that was not published in my country that i wanted badly enough to have a copy shipped to me from abroad and then...never read. day four of my "i have covid readathon!" i pre-ordered a lovely special edition of this book from waterstone's, pause for ooohh and ahhhhh and even though i ended up reading my US-ARC copy, i'm counting it towards this monthly goal because i COULD have read my pretty one before it pubs here next month. confession completed, review to come when covid stops coviding. ******************************* WHAT THE HECK, GUYS???? SUCH EXCITING NEWS AND NO ONE TELLS ME?????

  3. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    This is the follow-up/companion novel to "The Miniaturist", which I enjoyed. If you're planning on reading the first book before this one, disregard the first paragraph of my review to avoid spoilers. The previous book ended with the surprising birth of Thea to the Brandt household. It is now eighteen years later, and time to entertain marriage prospects for this treasured daughter and niece. The setting is Amsterdam in the 1700s. The people living in the household are Nella, young widow of Joha This is the follow-up/companion novel to "The Miniaturist", which I enjoyed. If you're planning on reading the first book before this one, disregard the first paragraph of my review to avoid spoilers. The previous book ended with the surprising birth of Thea to the Brandt household. It is now eighteen years later, and time to entertain marriage prospects for this treasured daughter and niece. The setting is Amsterdam in the 1700s. The people living in the household are Nella, young widow of Johannes Brandt these last eighteen years and aunt to Thea; Otto Brandt, father to Thea and a man of color who was welcomed into the family fold by Johannes Brandt; Cordelia, long time maid and cook of the house. These are all characters from the previous book. The one character present in spirit only is Marin Brandt, sister of Johannes- she died shortly after giving birth to Thea. While many "part 2" books have a kind of sophomore jinx where they are not quite up to par with the original book, this one succeeds. It maintained my interest throughout. The young character of Thea breathes new life into this story while she also yearns to learn more about her late mother and the past. The patchwork family that lovingly raised Thea have been forced to sell paintings and other valuables during financial strife. Brokering a marriage for Thea to a prominent and financially solvent suitor would be advantageous to all. However, Thea has a secret: she's involved with a handsome set painter at the local theater. The elusive miniaturist reprises her role, as mysterious packages containing prophetic figurines are left on the Brandt doorstep once again. This book would read well as a stand alone, but could be enjoyed even more so having read "The Miniaturist" first. I enjoyed the writing of these companion books so much that I purchased another one of this author's books, "The Muse" to read at a later date. Thank you to Bloomsbury USA, Bloomsbury Publishing for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    “The Miniaturist” was ok, but this (unnecessary) sequel doesn’t have the gothic atmosphere which was the best part of the first book. Some cheesy romance. Disappointing. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  5. 5 out of 5

    MaryannC. Book Freak

    3.5 Stars. This was a good read but I was wishing for a little more depth to the storyline than there was. The ending of the book came together nicely but again I felt it was a bit lackluster.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dan Bassett

    Dearest reader, you thought you knew the tale of The Miniaturist. You presumed the story was over. How foolish of you, for there is another voice that must be heard. Set in the golden and austere city of Amsterdam, the year is 1705 and this is the story of fate most wicked, ambitions which are loftier than the heavens, secrets that long to be let out, dreams are nothing but delusions, and one young woman’s steadfast determination to be the ruler of her own destiny. Thea Brandt is turning the wise Dearest reader, you thought you knew the tale of The Miniaturist. You presumed the story was over. How foolish of you, for there is another voice that must be heard. Set in the golden and austere city of Amsterdam, the year is 1705 and this is the story of fate most wicked, ambitions which are loftier than the heavens, secrets that long to be let out, dreams are nothing but delusions, and one young woman’s steadfast determination to be the ruler of her own destiny. Thea Brandt is turning the wise age of eighteen,and is ready to welcome adulthood with vigour and open arms even if she does think that celebrating a birthday is rather childish. Walter, the love of her life works at the theatre,awaits her to embrace Thea and promise her more than surely he could ever deliver, even when Thea knows this cannot be the way forever,especially when they have to hide themselves away from prying eyes. Yet at home in the house on the Herengracht, winter has firmly set in and clawing away at those within its cold walls which only elevates the arguments her father and Aunt Nella have on a near daily basis regarding the family and their future which seems to rely on selling furniture in order to survive unless Nella can secure a husband and perhaps save their legacy. Upon an invitation to Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball,Thea catches a glimpse of how things could be, however as the ball does indeed bring tidings of change for the family,Nella cannot help but feel the presence of The Miniaturist once more and she will have to face the reality that perhaps it is not right to force Thea into a fate neither of them think is right or fair. Effortlessly faultless in storytelling, the author welcomes you back to a much-loved world where you will become addicted once more to the gorgeously evocative tale of family, secrets, deceit and honour.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I had to pull out my copy of The Miniaturist to refresh my memory on a few things (even though I watched the BBC miniseries not that long ago). I do think you need to read that book first in order to understand what’s happening in this book. It takes place 18 years later and is full of all the mystery, intrigue, and drama that you could want. I had to pull out my copy of The Miniaturist to refresh my memory on a few things (even though I watched the BBC miniseries not that long ago). I do think you need to read that book first in order to understand what’s happening in this book. It takes place 18 years later and is full of all the mystery, intrigue, and drama that you could want.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    1705 Amsterdam. Thea Brandt is celebrating her 18th birthday and is ready to experience all that adulthood has to offer. The constant bickering between her father Otto and Aunt Nella over the financial troubles that are plaguing the family give Thea the reason she needs for escape. She finds the playhouses of Amsterdam to be just what she needs. Aunt Nella has come up with a different plan for Thea when they are invited to an exclusive ball. There she hopes to find a husband for Thea and all of 1705 Amsterdam. Thea Brandt is celebrating her 18th birthday and is ready to experience all that adulthood has to offer. The constant bickering between her father Otto and Aunt Nella over the financial troubles that are plaguing the family give Thea the reason she needs for escape. She finds the playhouses of Amsterdam to be just what she needs. Aunt Nella has come up with a different plan for Thea when they are invited to an exclusive ball. There she hopes to find a husband for Thea and all of their financial worries will be over but Thea has other ideas about her future. This was a satisfying sequel and I enjoyed catching up with the characters and revisiting Amsterdam. Highly recommend for historical fiction fans. Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA for the ARC.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Icey

    ohhhh no I’m crying with delights and sadness now. Why is only 2021??????????? I need to wait for one whole year….. I’m dying to reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaad it!!!!!!!!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    I really liked book 1 : The Miniaturist I'm excited for a book 2 - coming out in July!! I really liked book 1 : The Miniaturist I'm excited for a book 2 - coming out in July!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Kline

    3.5 stars. Even though this is a sequel to The Miniaturist, she really didn't figure much in the story. I felt the two books were quite different. I didn't enjoy this book as much as The Miniaturist, but I did appreciate the depth of the main characters, Nella and Thea. 3.5 stars. Even though this is a sequel to The Miniaturist, she really didn't figure much in the story. I felt the two books were quite different. I didn't enjoy this book as much as The Miniaturist, but I did appreciate the depth of the main characters, Nella and Thea.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kaja

    WHAT?!! I am so ready for this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    I received a copy of this book from Book Break UK in exchange for an honest review. It is the 1700s, and Thea Brandt is all grown up at eighteen and feeling restricted under the thumb of her father, and Aunt Nella. As Thea rebels with a romance with an older man, things from the past come back to haunt the family and Petronella avoids looking back at her childhood by busying herself with marriage prospects for Thea as a way to save everyone. The Miniaturist is one of my favourite books, and I alwa I received a copy of this book from Book Break UK in exchange for an honest review. It is the 1700s, and Thea Brandt is all grown up at eighteen and feeling restricted under the thumb of her father, and Aunt Nella. As Thea rebels with a romance with an older man, things from the past come back to haunt the family and Petronella avoids looking back at her childhood by busying herself with marriage prospects for Thea as a way to save everyone. The Miniaturist is one of my favourite books, and I always love a reread of it as I find the story is so vibrant and comes to life again, and again, and I never tired of reading the story of Nella and the Brandts. In House of Fortune, we meet a Nella in her late thirties, and still affected by the consequences of others' actions in The Miniaturist. I felt really fond, and also protective of Nella. I always have a soft spot for characters in shows/books that enter an arrangement or marriage like Nella did with hopes and dreams of a better future only to be saddled with issues that are not of their own making, or have to deal with a lonely life without family because of a husband who needed a wife for looks rather than love. There were times in this book I wanted to shield Nella from the others as I felt she was targeted for no reason with the others' anger, as well as feeling disappointed in some of the ways she had become so hardened. I really felt like the spirit of Marin was alive and well in this book through Nella - it was uncanny sometimes how she acted because it was so like Marin. There was a bit of teenage angst and emotional upheaval in the story due to Thea, and while I liked her, I also found her the most unlikeable within the household as she see-sawed between decisions and actually made things so much harder overall. If you are a fan of The Miniaturist, definitely give this sequel a go, you won't regret it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendy(Wendyreadsbooks) Robey

    It’s been wonderful being back in Amsterdam with Nella and Otto. Jessie Burton captures the setting wonderfully and seeing the city through Thea’s eyes was a great experience. I loved her naivety in seeing the world as part of the stage setting at the theatre. I loved the reintroduction of the Miniaturist with the little images of the characters lives ( and would have personally liked more of her ) and thought it linked beautifully to the former lives of Nella and Johannes.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    When I first read The Miniaturist I was still new to the Historical Fiction genre, and I didn't yet know what I did and didn't enjoy. I wanted to get into the genre more, and it was the most popular book out at the time. So I ordered myself a copy, knowing nothing about it, and dove on in. I loved it that first time of reading, and I loved it just as much re-reading it in anticipation of its sequel. I then picked up book two and this time I went in knowing all that had happened so far, where thin When I first read The Miniaturist I was still new to the Historical Fiction genre, and I didn't yet know what I did and didn't enjoy. I wanted to get into the genre more, and it was the most popular book out at the time. So I ordered myself a copy, knowing nothing about it, and dove on in. I loved it that first time of reading, and I loved it just as much re-reading it in anticipation of its sequel. I then picked up book two and this time I went in knowing all that had happened so far, where things had left off, what secrets were still being kept... I was invested, I knew these characters and I was very much looking forward to seeing how the next step in the dance played out. I don't want to say too much of the plot, as it would spoil the first one, but it was an absolute delight to return to Amsterdam and our favourite characters. The story is just as compelling, and the writing is as beautiful as we've come to expect from #JessieBurton. For me, this is a sequel that entirely lives up to the first instalment. The sort of book to get swept away by. I would say this could be read as a stand-alone, but I do wonder why you would want to. It has so much more meaning if you have already met these characters, come to know them, and understand how they come to be in the circumstances they find themselves in. And if you read book two first, then you'd be spoiling some of the events of book 1. So my advice: read them both! They are both wonderful. Thanks so much to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    Jessie Burton's House of Fortune is a follow-up to The Miniaturist, which made a splash when it was released in 2014. I began reading House of Fortune without going back to read the review I'd written of the Miniaturist, so I can attest that it works as a stand-alone title, but the stories are so rich and so connected that I'd recommend starting with The Miniaturist regardless. The central characters of House of Fortune are the remains of a rather unusual family, teetering on the brink of financ Jessie Burton's House of Fortune is a follow-up to The Miniaturist, which made a splash when it was released in 2014. I began reading House of Fortune without going back to read the review I'd written of the Miniaturist, so I can attest that it works as a stand-alone title, but the stories are so rich and so connected that I'd recommend starting with The Miniaturist regardless. The central characters of House of Fortune are the remains of a rather unusual family, teetering on the brink of financial ruin in 18th Century Amsterdam. Thea, whose mother died giving birth to her, is a young woman coming into her own, a theatre aficionado who is experiencing her first love. Otto, her father, is originally from Dahomey, making Thea mixed race, and putting the family on the fringes of the "best" social circles. Nella was once married to Thea's uncle, for whom Otto worked. (There's a back story there that comprises most of The Miniaturist.) Having been widowed young, Nella is painfully aware of the way marriage can—or can't—provide a woman with security and has little patience with Thea's romanticism. Cornelia is the family's single servant, a woman who shoulders most of the work of the household. She's an employee, but also a family member, able to speak freely to other members of the household. House of Fortune focuses on the tensions within this family group. Class hierarchy and piety are everything in their Amsterdam, and each of them carries secrets—some truly secret, others known—and each struggles both in pursuit of their own goals and in their concerns for the security and happiness of the others. This might sound like the set-up for a typical period romance, but House of Fortune is much more than that, given the uncertain positions and complex identities of the central characters and a thread of more-or-less-magical realism that also ran through The Miniaturist. It took me a while to warm to Thea, whose story provides the backbone of this novel. She's young, she's sure she knows things her elders don't, she's naive, she's combative in ways one expects of an eighteen-year-old. But once the first few chapters laid out the context of the novel and the plotting expanded to embrace other characters I found myself much more engaged—and less impatient with Thea. If you enjoy historical fiction—especially historical fiction that looks beyond the normal conventions of the time in which its set—you're certain to enjoy House of Fortune. I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    I’m rounding this one up to 4 stars. I never read The Miniaturist, I only watched the mini-series which I found really interesting and unusual in style. As a result I was very keen to read The house Of Fortune. I found this novel a little mysterious/supernatural and it had me wanting to read at a great speed to see what was going to be revealed. I like Jessie Burton’s writing style but I did feel that the ending was a little weaker than the rest of the story. I would also say that it is probably I’m rounding this one up to 4 stars. I never read The Miniaturist, I only watched the mini-series which I found really interesting and unusual in style. As a result I was very keen to read The house Of Fortune. I found this novel a little mysterious/supernatural and it had me wanting to read at a great speed to see what was going to be revealed. I like Jessie Burton’s writing style but I did feel that the ending was a little weaker than the rest of the story. I would also say that it is probably more of a character driven story rather than plot driven. The end could be considered a conclusion but could also lead into a whole new story for the characters if desired.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily Pallett

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was extremely excited for this book considering how much I love The Miniaturist, and for the most part, it was entertaining, but I’m sad to say I’m dissatisfied. I do not feel like it is on the same level as its predecessor. I found it a little lack luster, and often very repetitive. The scandal in The Miniaturist was much more shocking and thrilling which made me want to continue reading and I found it easy to feel real emotions for the characters, but this time they irritated me. I often found I was extremely excited for this book considering how much I love The Miniaturist, and for the most part, it was entertaining, but I’m sad to say I’m dissatisfied. I do not feel like it is on the same level as its predecessor. I found it a little lack luster, and often very repetitive. The scandal in The Miniaturist was much more shocking and thrilling which made me want to continue reading and I found it easy to feel real emotions for the characters, but this time they irritated me. I often found Thea to be spoilt and unlikable, and the way that Otto and Cornelia treated Petronella was extremely irritating and very unfair. Nella was the only character who I felt anything for, and it was she who interested me most. I was mainly disappointed in the lack of the actual miniaturist. We were only graced with 3 miniatures, and I feel like that thread to this story was barely even there. I continued to read in the hopes that something would happen further regarding these unusual miniatures, but nothing did, which made them feel very pointless in this book. Due to that, I do not see the point in those regular occurrences where Nella felt like she was being watched. That just felt like I was being teased with something mysterious and compelling, to be let down with no plot behind it at all. I did not find myself desperate to finish this tale, as I felt its ending was predictable, and I feel very ‘meh’ towards it now. I believe the 2 stars are generous.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeana

    I loved how the second book brings everything full circle. It ended very nicely and kept the tone of the Miniaturist. We still didn’t learn much about the actual miniaturist but I don’t think the story is supposed to be about her really. I really enjoyed this!

  20. 5 out of 5

    4cats

    It always a worry when a writer decides to write a sequel to a much loved novel, however Jessie Burton shows others how to do so successfully. After the rather spectacular Miniaturist Jessie Burton returns to the Brandt household, 18 years have passed and the Brandt's are struggling to survive, Nella's hopes and dreams are all focused upon Thea, her 18 year old niece. Nella, Otto and Cornelia have hidden much from Thea, she knows nothing of her mother or Nella's past and sees herself as a woman It always a worry when a writer decides to write a sequel to a much loved novel, however Jessie Burton shows others how to do so successfully. After the rather spectacular Miniaturist Jessie Burton returns to the Brandt household, 18 years have passed and the Brandt's are struggling to survive, Nella's hopes and dreams are all focused upon Thea, her 18 year old niece. Nella, Otto and Cornelia have hidden much from Thea, she knows nothing of her mother or Nella's past and sees herself as a woman who knows her own mind and thinks she controls her fate. She challenges Nella, their relationship is often combative, Thea has been overly protected and does not see how life is fraught with difficulties. I must say I found Thea frustrating and infuriating, I did question some of her behaviour, would a woman in her position behave as she does, especially at the beginning of the 18th century. But these are small misgivings, this is a great read, some reviews have suggested it is a more substantial novel than The Miniaturist, I would say not, The Miniaturist was and is a special novel and although this sequel is good it doesn't beat the first.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maritina Mela

    I usually don't post my thoughts on books that have yet to be released, but I just found out about this and I just had to. Did I enjoy The Miniaturist ? It was okay but not great. So, I don't know, maybe I will read this, maybe I won't. One thing's certain though, I've never viewed the original book as one that would be later on turned into a series 😜 I usually don't post my thoughts on books that have yet to be released, but I just found out about this and I just had to. Did I enjoy The Miniaturist ? It was okay but not great. So, I don't know, maybe I will read this, maybe I won't. One thing's certain though, I've never viewed the original book as one that would be later on turned into a series 😜

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Donovan

    3.5 stars This is a sequel that revels in the vibrant historical realisation of its setting and the return of beloved characters who remain fiercely compelling with the aid of intriguing new narratives. Powerfully written throughout as it tells a story full of morals and portrayals of complex emotions, the plot shows occasional weakness but still never fails to absorb. Told with the hint of mystery that The Miniaturist conjured so well, the concept is strong and keeps you turning the pages rapidly 3.5 stars This is a sequel that revels in the vibrant historical realisation of its setting and the return of beloved characters who remain fiercely compelling with the aid of intriguing new narratives. Powerfully written throughout as it tells a story full of morals and portrayals of complex emotions, the plot shows occasional weakness but still never fails to absorb. Told with the hint of mystery that The Miniaturist conjured so well, the concept is strong and keeps you turning the pages rapidly, although some of the more prominent themes lack originality or even a real surprise factor. What it does deliver is imaginative characterisation and poignancy, something that really permeates through the book and is felt most acutely at the end. It is 1705, and Thea Brandt is celebrating her eighteenth birthday at the Amsterdam house that she shares with her father Otto, Aunt Nella, and maid Cornelia. She spends the day at her favourite place, the theatre, where her best friend Rebecca Bosman is the lead actress. It is also the place where she pursues a secret love affair with an older man called Walter Riebeeck, one of the set designers. Still scarred by past events as well as their last encounter with the miniaturist, Nella and Otto have been forced to sell many of the household's paintings in a bid to stave off financial hardship. Nella reluctantly tries to mingle with Amsterdam's more elite social circles in order to boost the family's standing, and at one of these gatherings she stumbles across Jacob van Loos, a young lawyer who she sees as an ideal suitor for her niece. However, Thea is besotted with Walter and shows very little interest in Jacob when they meet, much to Nella's frustration. While Otto works on plans for a business venture with new friend Caspar Witsen, mysterious packages start to arrive at the door addressed to Thea. One of them contains a perfectly crafted miniature figure of Walter, and another contains a threat that could ruin her. It was completely fascinating to discover how things had changed with the passage of time, and in particular to get to know Thea as an adult following her traumatic birth at the end of the previous book. The outcome was unexpected in parts, as the vibe feels very much the same as before only with a much less layered and complex plot. The most effective moments take place when it focuses on Thea's character growth, from the blind affection she feels for Walter to her strained relationship with Nella, and all of these strands were beautifully conveyed. It makes frequent reference to past events and it was moving to see how Thea is sheltered from the secrets and knows so little of her mother, Marin. However, the plot is at times a little predictable and the miniaturist herself is rather shoehorned into proceedings. All of the story is told in the third person, switching the spotlight between Nella and Thea. There is a clear comparison to be made with Nella and what she was like when she was Thea's age, and here the two have opposing views on what their purpose in life should be. Both perspectives are written meaningfully and it is interesting how they come to appreciate each other's side of the argument by the end. At first, Thea is portrayed as quite rebellious and free-spirited, but also naïve. Later though, it becomes apparent that she is equally desperate to impress her family and she undergoes quite a journey, especially after she receives the first threatening note and her life turns upside down. She is not always easy to like, but she definitely grew on me and she had some very good character development. Albeit eighteen years older, Nella comes across as a much different character than the gutsy and captivating protagonist she was in The Miniaturist. Indeed, it even seemed like she was turning into Marin at certain points, but you still empathise with her as she takes difficult decisions to preserve the household's future prospects, and the ending made me love her again. Otto is a forceful personality and you root for him in a society where he and his daughter continue to be marginalised, while Cornelia is perhaps my favourite character of all for her loyalty and good humour. It was immediately obvious to see that Walter is sleazy and not to be trusted, and question marks hang over Jacob for much of the story too. In contrast, Rebecca and Caspar are much more kind and likeable. The Amsterdam setting is once again a joy to behold, and this time we see many more aspects of it than before, with places such as the theatre and Clara Sarragon's mansion. Elsewhere, the Brandt's house manages to retain that singular sense of intrigue, and it was also impressive how Nella's hometown of Assendelft ended up playing such a crucial part in the plot. What makes the writing so good is that it is just extremely evocative, with everything combining to deliver this world's unique atmosphere and emotion. There a some lines late on in the book which truly resonate. The ending itself is one of the highlights - even though you can easily see a lot of it coming, it is actually very heartwarming to see it all play out. Overall, the plot may not be the most extraordinary but this is still a very competent sequel that is enjoyable to read and typically rich in detail. The dynamic between Nella and Thea is what drives the story most and there are some powerful moments that are told with a superb literary flair. Not perfect, but good in so many ways.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Discover the locations in The House of Fortune I have spent a lovely weekend with this book. I have to say however that there's barely any mention of The Miniaturist and no appearance of her at all. IThere's a few miniatures of course and a few mentions of what happened before but it really is in the background of the book as a whole. I was disappointed with this but if you read it as a standalone , a novel of complex family relations and a young girl on the cusp of womanhood ready to take her f Discover the locations in The House of Fortune I have spent a lovely weekend with this book. I have to say however that there's barely any mention of The Miniaturist and no appearance of her at all. IThere's a few miniatures of course and a few mentions of what happened before but it really is in the background of the book as a whole. I was disappointed with this but if you read it as a standalone , a novel of complex family relations and a young girl on the cusp of womanhood ready to take her fate in her own hands, then this is a great read. The watery, dark world of Amsterdam opens up again and we are thrust back to that house on the Golden Bend. The novel picks up 18 years after The Minaturist and we see that the baby born to an interracial couple ( unheard of in 1600s Amsterdam) is now 18 and in love with a set painter at the local theatre. The family that Johannes left behind is now destitute and so money is essential. They sell of paintings and feel that a good marriage for Thea is the only way to save them. Needless to say, things don't go well. Thea is in love with a man the family would not approve of. They choose someone called Jacob who is wealthy and the set pieces of the grand ball, his house and the talk of pineapples ( a new luxury in those days) were wonderfully written and described. Take out the few mentions of mysterious parcels showing up, of Thea not knowing what they are or of their significance of them in the past, and you have the same novel to be honest. It's a sequel to what happens after the events in the novel The Miniaturist, not of what the figure of the miniaturist might be up to now. The writing is simply wonderful and the turn of phrase exquisite. It was a real pleasure to read and to see Nella again! What a treat! Sadly no Peebo and the house was now in disrepair. We do get to go back to where Nella came from which was a nice thread and the ending was quiet and sad. Definately recommended despite the lack of the miniaturist. The watery, dark world of Amsterdam opens up again and we are thrust back to that house on the Golden Bend. The novel picks up 18 years after The Minaturist and we see that the baby born to an interracial couple ( unheard of in 1600s Amsterdam) is now 18 and in love with a set painter at the local theatre. The family that Johannes left behind is now destitute and so money is essential. They sell of paintings and feel that a good marriage for Thea is the only way to save them. Needless to say, things don't go well. Thea is in love with a man the family would not approve of. They choose someone called Jacob who is wealthy and the set pieces of the grand ball, his house and the talk of pineapples ( a new luxury in those days) were wonderfully written and described. Take out the few mentions of mysterious parcels showing up, of Thea not knowing what they are or of their significance of them in the past, and you have the same novel to be honest. It's a sequel to what happens after the events in the novel The Miniaturist, not of what the figure of the miniaturist might be up to now. The writing is simply wonderful and the turn of phrase exquisite. It was a real pleasure to read and to see Nella again! What a treat! Sadly no Peebo and the house was now in disrepair. We do get to go back to where Nella came from which was a nice thread and the ending was quiet and sad. Definately recommended despite the lack of the miniaturist.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ann Dudzinski

    In the sequel to The Miniaturist, we are swept back to Amsterdam in 1705, on the morning of Thea Brandt’s eighteenth birthday and the beginning of her adult life. For Thea, that means following her dream of marrying Walter, the lead set-painter at the playhouse. For her Aunt Nella, it means finding Thea a rich husband to restore the family’s fortunes. Nella meets the man she intends for Thea to wed at a ball, but both Thea and her father, Otto, are against the match. Each member of the family is In the sequel to The Miniaturist, we are swept back to Amsterdam in 1705, on the morning of Thea Brandt’s eighteenth birthday and the beginning of her adult life. For Thea, that means following her dream of marrying Walter, the lead set-painter at the playhouse. For her Aunt Nella, it means finding Thea a rich husband to restore the family’s fortunes. Nella meets the man she intends for Thea to wed at a ball, but both Thea and her father, Otto, are against the match. Each member of the family is determined to have their way: Nella to marry Thea off to a wealthy Amsterdammer; Thea to wed her secret lover; and Otto to launch a pineapple plantation on Nella’s abandoned family land. In the background is the specter of Thea’s mother haunting the family who died on the day of her birth and the miniaturist, who has once again taken an interest in the family. I have not read The Miniaturist and it’s not necessary to fully follow this story, but the backstory of Nella and Otto is so compelling, and the mysterious woman’s hold on them so strong nearly two decades later, it’s got to be fantastic and I plan to rectify my oversight. But to focus on this story, what I loved the most was the authenticity of Thea and Nella’s voice. I’ll admit, Thea irritated me a bit, but she’s headstrong and eighteen and those qualities shone through, whether you agreed with her choices or not. I could feel Nella’s stress, trying to hold on to respectability and her veneer of gentility while selling off the last family painting to buy food. This is what a character-driven novel should be. When their personalities jump off the page and stay with you after you finish reading the book. However, it took me a little while to really get into the story. It started a bit slow, even for a quiet story, and the buildup was subtle. Although that buildup paid off with a twist that took me by surprise, which I always appreciate, and I loved the satisfying ending. I hope there’s a third book that continues on with the family’s journey. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who loves historical fiction. The era and city really came to life under the author’s pen. I rated this novel a very strong four stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for providing the ARC copy of this book in return for my honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Helen Carolan

    Like her two previous books this wasn't as good as "The Miniaturist". This sequel is set 18yrs after the end of her first book. Nella, Otto and Thea, Nella's niece are living in straightened circumstances. Nella decides to find a wealthy man for her niece, but Thea has already fallen for a set painter at the local playhouse. As the two women plot the future the miniaturist is in the backround watching events. This wasn't a bad read but not as impressive as her first. Like her two previous books this wasn't as good as "The Miniaturist". This sequel is set 18yrs after the end of her first book. Nella, Otto and Thea, Nella's niece are living in straightened circumstances. Nella decides to find a wealthy man for her niece, but Thea has already fallen for a set painter at the local playhouse. As the two women plot the future the miniaturist is in the backround watching events. This wasn't a bad read but not as impressive as her first.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    The House of Fortune build off The Miniaturist. The characters in this book seem miserable most of the time. They are also quite stilted. Money worries and family secrets don’t mix well. I never really got a good sense of who Thea really was or what she wanted. The only character I liked was Rebecca. I thought she was genuine. It was an ok read. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing and NetGalley for the early read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Han Preston

    3.5⭐️ An enjoyable sequel. Not quite as special as The Miniaturist but nice to be back with Nella and Cornelia. 🍍

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I hate to say it, but I found this much anticipated sequel to ‘The Miniaturist’ to be a bit lacklustre. It is well written, which is what you would expect from a Jessie Burton novel, but I found the overall storyline to be rather weak. There was none of the mystery and suspense that was so integral to the first book, and the miniaturist barely featured. In fact, there seemed little point in her being there at all. Also, I really couldn’t take to Thea as a character. I found her annoying, bratty I hate to say it, but I found this much anticipated sequel to ‘The Miniaturist’ to be a bit lacklustre. It is well written, which is what you would expect from a Jessie Burton novel, but I found the overall storyline to be rather weak. There was none of the mystery and suspense that was so integral to the first book, and the miniaturist barely featured. In fact, there seemed little point in her being there at all. Also, I really couldn’t take to Thea as a character. I found her annoying, bratty and self-centred. With all that being said, it was great to catch up with Nella, Otto and Cornelia again and to revisit the city of Amsterdam in the early 18th century. It’s just a shame that this book didn’t live up to my expectations overall. It’s certainly not a bad book, and it did have some enjoyable moments, but as a sequel to ‘The Miniaturist’, it fell somewhat flat.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ClaireJ

    4.5 stars I loved this just as much as the first book, The Miniaturist. It is a character driven novel and set 18 years after the previous book. It was great to revisit some of the characters again and to find how Nella particularly was doing. The emotional upheaval the naive Thea caused made me find her quite unlikeable at first but she grew on me. I also guessed correctly how things would turn out but it didn’t make the story any less enjoyable. The Miniaturist doesn’t feature much and I am sti 4.5 stars I loved this just as much as the first book, The Miniaturist. It is a character driven novel and set 18 years after the previous book. It was great to revisit some of the characters again and to find how Nella particularly was doing. The emotional upheaval the naive Thea caused made me find her quite unlikeable at first but she grew on me. I also guessed correctly how things would turn out but it didn’t make the story any less enjoyable. The Miniaturist doesn’t feature much and I am still left desperate to know more about her. However, her mysterious presence does add to the atmosphere by not knowing where she is, how she knows so much about the occupants of the house and why she sends mysterious packages to Thea. Burton is a master storyteller, her writing is beautifully elegant and crafted with immersive details and descriptions. If you enjoyed The Miniaturist then definitely read this one!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Jane

    Usually I’d start my review posts with a short summary of the plot but to do that with The House of Fortune would reveal huge spoilers for The Miniaturist. So I’ll just say this; we’re eighteen years after the events of the first book, this one has the same creepy, gothic vibes and it looks at family, love, growing up and freedom. I really enjoyed getting swept into this new story and I have a feeling that when the book releases next month, it’s going to be huge! Massive thanks to Book Break for Usually I’d start my review posts with a short summary of the plot but to do that with The House of Fortune would reveal huge spoilers for The Miniaturist. So I’ll just say this; we’re eighteen years after the events of the first book, this one has the same creepy, gothic vibes and it looks at family, love, growing up and freedom. I really enjoyed getting swept into this new story and I have a feeling that when the book releases next month, it’s going to be huge! Massive thanks to Book Break for the beautiful ARC!

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