The phenomenal Number One Bestseller Winner of the Specsavers National Book Award 2014 Waterstones Book of the Year 2014 Selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club 2015 There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . . On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . . Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall? Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, Jessie Burton's magnificent debut novel The Miniaturist is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam—a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion—a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant. ”There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .“ On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin. But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist—an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . . Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction? Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
Sold in over thirty territories, this evocative debut in the tradition of Sarah Dunant, Tracey Chevalier and Emma Donoghue is set among a wealthy, dysfunctional family living in Amsterdam in 1686 during the decline of the Dutch Golden Age "There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . ." On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of the illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . . Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall? Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Richard and Judy Book Club selection. A picture hides a thousand words . . . On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery. The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences . . . Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception - a masterpiece from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.
'A tale of immense originality and intrigue. The Miniaturist is every bit as perfect and detailed as a Mughal painting should be. Well crafted in all its details of colour and texture, it is an intensely passionate creation' Observer Set in the court of the Emperor Akbar in 16th-century India, this is a richly detailed and sensuous tale of art, sex and political intrigue. Bihzad is the son of the emperor's chief artist and as such, he is groomed to follow in his father's footsteps. A child prodigy, Bihzad is shielded from life as he grows up in the stunning fortress town of Agra. But soon word of his talent - his wild, imaginative drawings free from the normal restrictions of court painting - spreads. When the emperor decides to move the court to Fatehpur Sikri, Bihzad is favoured among the other artists and musicians. In his spare time he paints a series of richly, erotic scenes. But as his fame increases, he begins to make enemies who are jealous of his success and who will use his hidden drawings to destroy him.
Author: John Connolly
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2006-11-07
Taking refuge in fairy tales after the loss of his mother, twelve-year-old David finds himself violently propelled into an imaginary land in which the boundaries of fantasy and reality are disturbingly melded. By the author of The Black Angel. 75,000 first printing.
#1 UK Bestseller “A joy.” — Guardian “Enchanting.” — People “Triumphant.” — Sunday Telegraph “Stunningly crafted and constantly surprising . . . An utterly convincing love story about two people destined to be together somehow, no matter what.” — Times “One Day meets Sliding Doors.” — Elle A dazzling novel about the ways the smallest decisions give shape to our lives, The Versions of Us charts a relationship through three possible futures. Cambridge, 1958. Late for class, Eva Edelstein swerves to miss a dog and crashes her bike. Jim Taylor hurries to help her. In that brief moment, three outcomes are born for Eva and Jim. As the strands of their lives weave together and apart across the decades from college through wildly different successes and disappointments, seductions and betrayals, births and funerals, joys and sorrows, the only constant is the power of their connection. TheVersions of Us is a tour de force of storytelling. “Barnett renders an irresistible concept in sweet, cool prose — a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure book in which you don’t have to choose.” — Observer “One of the most engrossing novels either of us has read in years.” —Richard Madeley, Richard and Judy Book Club “I simply adored this wonderful novel.” — Jessie Burton, author of The Muse and The Miniaturist
Author: Deborah Moggach
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-03-31
Soon to be a major film starring Oscar winners Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz and Dame Judi Dench, and adapted for the screen by Sir Tom Stoppard. From the bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel comes a thrilling story of power, lust and deception set in seventeenth-century Amsterdam Seventeenth-century Amsterdam – a city in the grip of tulip fever. Sophia’s husband Cornelis is one of the lucky ones grown rich from this exotic new flower. To celebrate, he commissions a talented young artist to paint him with his beautiful young bride. But as the portrait grows, so does the passion between Sophia and the painter; and ambitions, desires and dreams breed an intricate deception and a reckless gamble.
The Sultan secretly commissions a great book: a celebration of his life and the Ottoman Empire, to be illuminated by the best artists of the day - in the European manner. In Istanbul at a time of violent fundamentalism, however, this is a dangerous proposition. Even the illustrious circle of artists are not allowed to know for whom they are working. But when one of the miniaturists is murdered, their Master has to seek outside help. Did the dead painter fall victim to professional rivalry, romantic jealousy or religious terror? With the Sultan demanding an answer within three days, perhaps the clue lies somewhere in the half-finished pictures . . . From Turkey's winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Istanbul and The Museum of Innocence, this novel is a thrilling murder mystery set amid the splendour of Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is also a stunning meditation on love, artistic devotion and the tensions between East and West.
'A lovely piece of work; finely researched and beautifully, atmospherically written' Sarah Dunant A gripping historical novel that brings tumultuous medieval Europe to life. Not to be missed by readers of Hilary Mantel, Peter Ackroyd and C. J. Sansom. Johann Gutenberg's first printed Bibles amazed and shocked medieval Europe. He had started a revolution that would one day put books in the hands of any man or woman who wanted them. The project was fraught with danger, for it threatened the power of politicians and the Catholic church. Who was this Gutenberg? In Alix Christie's evocative and compelling novel, he comes vividly to life - driven, caustic and ruthless. Behind him stands a brilliant young scribe, Peter Schoeffer, whose genius is to stay true to his artistic values in the cauldron of the printer's workshop. Caught between the old ways and the new, the two men struggle with one another and the world outside to prevail against overwhelming obstacles... and change history. A semifinalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.
Author: Ian McEwan
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2010-03-11
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE Two old friends – Cline Linley and Vernon Halliday – meet at the funeral of gorgeous, witty Molly Lane. Both men had been Molly’s lovers years before their dazzling success; Clive is Britain’s most eminent modern composer and Vernon is the editor of the respected broadsheet, The Judge. In the weeks that follow, Clive and Vernon’s lives become bound together in ways neither could have imagined. Two dubious moral decisions and a pact made in extremis lead them both to the heart of Amsterdam.
Set in one day in 1632, The Anatomy Lesson is a stunning portrayal of Golden Age Amsterdam and a brilliantly imagined back-story to Rembrandt's first great work of art. Told from several points of view, ranging from a curio dealer who collects bodies for the city’s chief anatomist to philosopher Rene Descartes, the novel opens on the morning of the medical dissection that is to be recorded by the twenty-six-year-old artist from Leiden who has yet to attach his famous signature to a painting. As the story builds to its dramatic and inevitable conclusion, the events that transpire throughout the day sway Rembrandt to make fundamental changes to his initial composition. These changes will remain mysteries for centuries until a young art historian closely examines the painting in the twenty-first century, and makes surprising discoveries about the painter, his process, and his genius for capturing enduring truths about human nature in a single moment.
Author: Monica Hesse
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 2016-04-05
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
An unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times "Girl in the Blue Coat is a powerful, compelling coming-of-age story set against the dark and dangerous backdrop of World War II. It's an important and page-turning look at the choices all of us--including young adults--have to make in wartime. A beautiful combination of heartbreak, loss, young love, and hope." -Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale "A tapestry of guilt and acceptance, growing responsibility, and reluctant heroism, Hanneke's coming-of-age under heartbreaking circumstances is a jarring reminder of how war consumes and transforms the passions of ordinary life. Every devastating moment of this beautiful novel is both poignant and powerful, and every word feels true." -Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion. On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman's frantic plea to find a person--a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action. Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel from a bright new voice.
A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB READ AN OBSERVER NEW FACE OF FICTION 2015 A HUFFINGTON POST 'ONE TO WATCH IN 2015' LONGLISTED FOR THE CWA JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER 2015 'I was gripped by Catherine Chanter's The Well immediately. The beauty of her prose is riveting, the imagery so assured. This is an astonishing debut' Sarah Winman, author of When God was a Rabbit 'I loved this book!' JESSIE BURTON, author of The Miniaturist When Ruth Ardingly and her family first drive up from London in their grime-encrusted car and view The Well, they are enchanted by a jewel of a place, a farm that appears to offer everything the family are searching for. An opportunity for Ruth. An escape for Mark. A home for their grandson Lucien. But The Well's unique glory comes at a terrible price. The locals suspect foul play in its verdant fields and drooping fruit trees, and Ruth becomes increasingly isolated as she struggles to explain why her land flourishes whilst her neighbours' produce withers and dies. Fearful of envious locals and suspicious of those who seem to be offering help, Ruth is less and less sure who she can trust. As The Well envelops them, Ruth's paradise becomes a prison, Mark's dream a recurring nightmare, and Lucien's playground a grave.
'A SKILLFUL TRIUMPH' Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist - 'IRRESISTIBLE' Emma Donoghue, author of Room New York, 1895. It's late on a warm city night when Sylvan Threadgill, a young night soiler who cleans out the privies behind the tenement houses, pulls a terrible secret out from the filthy hollows: an abandoned newborn baby. An orphan himself, Sylvan was raised by a kindly Italian family and can't bring himself to leave the baby in the slop. He tucks her into his chest, resolving to find out where she belongs. Odile Church is the girl-on-the-wheel, a second-fiddle act in a show that has long since lost its magic. Odile and her sister Belle were raised in the curtained halls of their mother's spectacular Coney Island sideshow: The Church of Marvels. Belle was always the star-the sword swallower-light, nimble, a true human marvel. But now the sideshow has burnt to the ground, their mother dead in the ashes, and Belle has escaped to the city. Alphie wakes up groggy and confused in Blackwell's Lunatic Asylum. The last thing she remembers is a dark stain on the floor, her mother-in-law screaming. She had once walked the streets as an escort and a penny-Rembrandt, cleaning up men after their drunken brawls. Now she is married; a lady in a reputable home. She is sure that her imprisonment is a ruse by her husband's vile mother. But then a young woman is committed alongside her, and when she coughs up a pair of scissors from the depths of her agile throat, Alphie knows she harbors a dangerous secret that will alter the course of both of their lives... On a single night, these strangers' lives will become irrevocably entwined, as secrets come to light and outsiders struggle for acceptance. From the Coney Island seashore to the tenement-studded streets of the Lower East Side, a spectacular sideshow to a desolate asylum, Leslie Parry makes turn-of-the-century New York feel alive, vivid, and magical in this luminous debut. In prose as magnetic and lucid as it is detailed, she offers a richly atmospheric vision of the past marked by astonishing feats of narrative that will leave you breathless.