I'm a GoodReads user testing new waters after the serious website changes. I mostly read fiction, usually Anglophone classics/ modern classics; I like nonfiction (mostly social and cultural history), good fantasy and graphic novels. For guilty pleasure, I read advice and how-to books. I made at least two reading resolutions recently; 1. read less, live more; 2. read books which give me more pleasure. I have poor filters, and books I find stylistically pleasing tend to be depressing, so I need to do something about that; if you think you know a book that is very well written, but won't make me weep, please drop me a line.

The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton This could have been another The Crimson Petal and the White, but for the lazy storytelling. The writing itself is, in my opinion, good; up until the middle of the novel I believed I would give it solid four stars, if not more - Ms. Burton knows how to create a sense of mystery, and I was convinced by her rendition of the worldviews of the period. Then, unfortunately, it became apparent that the author has no answers to the questions she herself poses. What we get instead of psychological/ period novel - a treatment Burton's characters, especially female ones, deserve - is a series of smoke-and-mirror tricks. I hate being told that characters' motivations will remain a mystery, and I find it beyond frustrating when characters' nearly supernatural abilities remain unexplained; I had an impression that a fast-paced action and a series of tabloid-worthy plot developments were introduced to compensate for the fact that I'll never know what factors shaped Marin, Agnes, and the miniaturist, or who they really were.

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