The Miniaturist doesn’t present a conventional ending. An ending one would expect, to say in the least. As wide eyed and hopeful humans (at least some of us are) we have small expectations when we pick up a book. We wish for it to have if not a happy ending one that shall inspire a little hope after we put it down. Jesse Burton presents an unconventional ending as she leaves it to the reader to find hope. Our own version of it. Some of you might read the book and exclaim, “WHAT, THAT’S THE END!” But I urge you to not throw this book out of the window just then.
We meet five humans in the book and three lovely animals. [Yes, we have sidey characters as well. But aah, I can’t write that big a post, so I guess I’m sorry for leaving them out.]
First is, Petronella Ootrman, the young wife of Johannes Brandt. The protagonist. She’s something alright, you wouldn’t expect it from her, but she’s an unconventional heroin. One that’s still figuring out things. You can all see a bit of yourself in her. Someone who just doesn’t want trouble has simple expectations which unfortunately do not become a reality. Faces a huge heartbreak. Trusts a creepy stranger. And then *drum roll* finds herself in the eye of the hurricane. Right in the middle. But the funny thing is you wouldn’t feel so bad for her. That’s what is so remarkable about the author. At no point in time do you feel sorry for her or pity her. Which is what she expects from us as well, I could almost see Petronella stare at me from the book and exclaim, “B*tch, keep the pity in your pocket.”
Then we have Johannes Brandt, he’s kind. That’s all I would write for him. Throughout the book his character exudes kindness. You feel sorry for him though. Jesse wanted you to. So go ahead and feel bad for him. He wants you to. To pretend to be someone you aren’t must suck. And unfortunately I feel as if Johannes died lying. Which well sucks. Third we have Marin, Johannes sister. She has this mystery to herself. You feel as if this book wasn’t enough to acquaint us with Marin’s personality. Jesse, we need another book, one only focussed on Marin. With her mysterious possessions and her black clothing and then her hiding her whole pregnancy, haha she has everyone believe what she wants to. So, listen up guys, whatever you think you know about Marin is the stuff she wanted you to think about her. You’d never know who Marin Brandt was. I hope Otto did. But then we have Otto, who’d rather not say. Otto made me furious throughout the book. I could deal with Marin not speaking much about her since you could make something out from her actions. But Otto, who is Otto?! What does Otto want? We’d never know. On the other hand, I absolutely adored Cornelia, even though she was an eavesdropper. Peeping through key holes all the time. I would describe her to be a human version of Wikipedia. Why the unusual comparison? Well, her information is often incorrect but for people who don’t know sh*t, she’s the best source. Plus she has a “Personal Life” column as well. You know, the one we so eagerly skip to when we open a Wikipedia page about a certain someone. Yeah, don’t pretend you’ve never done that. That is sort of the whole purpose of Wikipedia and in case of the book, Cornelia’s.
Below is the clan for you.
Finally lets come to, the damn miniaturist. I don’t care who you are, but you made me terribly paranoid. Seriously man, what’s your deal? After reading the book, I find the miniaturist sort of evil and messed up. I recommend the makers of the series The Alienist run a second season about Ms. Petronella (yeah they’re also namesakes, making it “spider crawling up your spine” creepy), the miniaturist who knows everything but still watches from the sidelines. You’re almost confused all the times as why she’d never come forward to help if she knows stuff. Anyway, that mystery is what makes the book so unique. I feel like the miniaturist represents fate or the uncertainty of events in life as a whole. Some things are going to go down the way they will. Sometimes even though you have all the signs right in front of you you’d still miss them. The important part is what you do after shit hits the fan. Petronella (Oortman/Brandt) presents a good example of what we must do when it does. As for the ending, the book leaves space for the reader to interpret not only that but the whole plot of the book. And that is what pushed me to write this post.
This book presents so many alternative endings, you almost feel like a character in the book, looking from the sidelines trying to pick up clues on to figure out what could’ve happened. So go ahead read the book, or watch the series. I hope you have great many theories like I do about the ending and the whole damn plot.
Also, I promised spoilers, and sort of couldn’t incorporate them into the above rant which got a bit “character sketchy”.
I got a little carried away, I guess, so here goes:
1. Marin and Johannes die. Johannes is executed by the State for being a homosexual and Marin dies owing to the complications following the birth of her daughter.
2. Marin is pregnant with Otto’s baby (yeaaaah) Also, this is throughout the book and no one comes to know until just some days before the baby is born. I guess that’s Marin for you. Ever so many secrets.
This post was written by Ananya Sharma.