It’s been over a week and I still can’t get this book out of my head. Normally, I’m all about having the book in my hand, taking my own sweet time to leisurely enjoy the story, but when I work full-time and do my own novel writing on the side…exceptions need to be made if I ever want to get through my TBR pile…so when I found this little gem by Jessie Burton on audiobook, I was overjoyed. And from the moment I started listening, I was hooked.
Jessie Burton deftly paints the lush cityscape of 17th century Amsterdam with the care and precision of a great Dutch Master. Each detail, so perfectly created, leaves the reader with the sense that it is the author herself leaving the mysterious trinkets on Nella’s door, and not some shadowy tradesman found on Smit’s List.
The Brandt household, somehow warm and luxuriously appointed, yet dark and distant at the same time, is populated by vibrant and complex characters that nearly leap from the pages; their lives chaotic and messy in a way that is uniquely human. Nothing is left wrapped up with a pretty bow.
When I started, I held no interest in either the time or place of this book, as my heart and novels are always in Tudor England, but I was drawn to it anyway. Once I dove in, I discovered that Burton is nothing less than an alchemist. Her deft touch transformed the dreary streets of Amsterdam into shimmering gold, seemingly before my eyes. Now I’m itching to discover more about this remarkable world.