Returning to the magical Amsterdam of her million-copy bestseller The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton's The House of Fortune is a story of love, fate, and two women determined to make their own way.
'I absolutely loved it' – Marian Keyes
'Awe-inspiring. Burton is a master storyteller' – Elizabeth Day
The No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller
A Richard & Judy Book Club pick
1705, Amsterdam. Thea Brandt is about to turn eighteen, and at the theatre in the heart of the city she has met the love of her life. At home, however, her family faces ruin. Desperate to change their fortunes, Thea’s aunt Nella is convinced that she must find Thea a wealthy husband, to get her away from the theatre and solidify her place in the society in which she truly belongs.
As Thea and Nella clash over the demands of duty and the heart, past secrets begin to overwhelm their present. And then there is the elusive miniaturist – when mysterious figurines begin to arrive on the family doorstep, it seems someone may have unexpected plans for Thea's family . . .
Will each woman be able to rescue her destiny from the whims of fortune?
Five Star Reader Reviews:
'I didn't want this rich immersive book to end . . . magical'
'Every bit as beautiful as the first book'
'Fantastic!! We are going to need a third book, please!'
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In her wish for some kind of freedom, 18-year-old Thea Brandt is not unlike her aunt Nella. Nella could surely understand other things about her niece, too—the younger woman’s desire to love and be loved among them—but both find it hard to see this. And there are elements of Thea’s experience as a mixed-race girl in early-18th-century Amsterdam that Nella does not fully grasp. Nella was, of course, the protagonist of Jessie Burton’s 2014 novel The Miniaturist, and when we meet her again in The House of Fortune 18 years have passed. Her family—Nella, Thea, Thea’s father Otto and their cook Cornelia—face serious financial troubles, in the absence of Nella’s late husband Johannes and his sister, Thea’s late mother Marin. As they keep secrets from the wider world and each other—including about the miniaturist whose work continues to suggest she has some eerie insight into their lives—and struggle over how to secure Thea’s future, the novel becomes a poignant meditation on choice and inevitability, will and fate.
Burton returns with a captivating standalone companion to 2014's The Miniaturist. In 1705 Amsterdam, 18-year-old Thea Brandt lives in a cold mansion with her father, Otto, a Black man who was formerly enslaved; her aunt Nella; and her elderly nursemaid and cook Cornelia. The family can barely afford the house, which Otto inherited, leading to Nella intensifying her efforts to find a wealthy husband for Thea, whose mother was white, and Otto thinking about partnering with a botanist to cultivate pineapples in Holland. Thea finds refuge at a nearby theater with her friend Rebecca, a fierce and talented leading lady; and Walter, the chief set-painter and Thea's secret lover. However, after Walter breaks her heart, Thea resigns herself to marrying a wealthy lawyer from a prominent family. Throughout, the mysterious "miniaturist" of the previous book surreptitiously delivers warnings in the form of detailed figurines on Thea's doorstep, each with its own eerie significance and seeming supernatural power, just as she had done years ago with Nella. While the ending feels a little abrupt, the vibrant period detail, the characters' vibrant inner lives, and Thea's fulfilling journey to maturity make for a winning combination. Readers will relish the return of Nella and her world.