Annotating My Bookshelf

The last novel I read was The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. This novel is set in the eighteenth century and follows the life of Nella Oortman and her marriage to Johannes Brandt. Johannes gives Nella an extravagant wedding gift of a cabinet house, the exact miniature replica of the house that they live in. The novel details the process of Nella furnishing the house by enrolling the services of the Miniaturist. As the house reveals secrets about their lives Nella realises the unusual qualities of the Miniaturist and unfolds the dangers that are awaiting the family.

I was really excited about reading this novel, it had been on my bookshelf for a while however, as I just didn’t have the time to actually pick it up. But when I eventually did I was hooked. I wanted to find out who the Miniaturist was, and what was about to unfold in Nella’s life. However, when I got the end of novel I was horribly disappointed; there were still so many unanswered questions that I had. Nella and Johannes’ relationship also irked me; towards the end of the novel Nella uncovers a great secret, which completely ruins the family and their name. The blinding trust that Nella has in Johannes seems very misguided to me. They hardly communicated during their marriage and when they did it was very abrupt on Johannes’ part, yet she still stands by him during the whole broken situation. I understand that she is his wife, but she had hardly any contact with the man, verbally and physically – she knows nothing about him. Yes, he treated her kindly, but being in a loveless marriage with no prospects of baring a child that would have been his, seems almost redundant – especially for that time.

Despite all of this, it was a well written novel, and it did keep me entertained, like I said I didn’t want to put it down. But having an ending that lets you down as much as this one did really disappoints you.

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Generation X by Douglas Coupland is the novel that I’m currently reading. I bought this a couple of months ago and to be quite honest with you it was the cover that did it for me. It’s a bright neon pink with only the title; simple and minimalistic. I do however know not to judge a book by it’s cover so I did check out the blurb once it had caught my eye. This novel follows the lives of Andy, Dag and Claire, realising that they live in a culture that is beyond their means, they try to find their places. I read a lot of reviews about this before I actually started reading it and to say I came up short is a bit of an understatement. Every single review I read was awful! It actually put me off reading it, but I picked it up last week and started it with an open mind, ready to make my own opinion. Now – 25 pages in – I find myself laughing at the disturbing stories that the characters are telling. It does read quite pretentiously, but the irony of how Andy, Dag and Claire describe their lives as being hard whist they’re lounging beside their own personal pool genuinely cracks me up. I’m really looking forward to getting further into it and seeing how their lives unfold.

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On to my reading list:

Firstly we have,The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. This isn’t normally the kind of novel that I would go for, however it was the reviews on the blurb that really drew me to this.

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Secondly, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Ever since the film with Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin came out I said to myself that I will read the book first, but I’ve never really been able to bring myself to pick it up! It’s one of those books that just sits there staring at me from the shelf. It’s not really the kind of novel that I tend to go for, so I think I’m trying to work myself up to reading it.

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And finally, After You by Jojo Moyes. This is the sequel to Me Before You, I figured if I was going to read the first one I may as well follow it up with the sequel, it only makes sense.

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