Book Review: The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist. Well I’ll start by saying, I was so so sad finish. What else was going to be as good this year? I started on a whim. I wanted to try Amazon Whispersync and I needed a book that was enabled. Having seen this book front and centre in every bookshop in the city, I thought I’d give it try. Had I bothered to do any background reading I would have realised that it’s one of the most acclaimed books of the year. In my opinion it lives up to the hype.

Set in late 17th Century Amsterdam and told by young and naive Nella, you are quickly scooped up into a world of greed and wealth and judgement. Nella, an 18 year old girl from the countryside has been married to an older and very wealthy Amsterdammer, Johannes, a man with a great number of secrets. As a marriage present Johannes gives Nella a miniature house, in an effort to furnish the house Nella contacts the miniaturist who is seemingly all knowing and able to predict the events which will lead to great turmoil within the house, and the city.

It was a fascinating read, a great story paired with a well researched account of Amsterdam at the time. And while it is the first book of 2015, I think it will still be tops at the end of the year. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come in the reading department this year.

Also, Whispersync? Awesome. Allowing you to flip between reading and audiobook is genius and exactly what I need for when I want to ‘read’ and do something else like knitting or sewing or dishes.


A Daily Joy

One of my intentions for 2015 is to practice greater gratitude. To acknowledge a daily joy. To be thankful in the moment for that moment. I wanted to complicate this by trying to write it down each day; record it on my phone in some way; find an app that would allow me to scroll through my list of daily joys. Then I realised that it would be defeating. I wouldn’t do it everyday. I’d get behind. And in the process, I’d forget to be grateful for the daily joy. So instead, when itĀ happens, I simply say: THIS is today’s joy, thank you Jesus for this moment of joy.

I couldn’t tell you what yesterday’s was. Today’s was being with a dear friend when she learned some very devastating news, being present and prayerful in a moment of enormous sorrow. It wasn’t a joyful moment. But it is my joy that I could serve my friend.

I think I’m ending up with more than one a day also – I’m finding that each time a moment happens, I am grateful and because I don’t have any pressure to do anything but be grateful, I’m finding them all the time.