The best way to describe this book is by liking it to a waltz. It moves along at a slow and steady pace, being careful not to get to excited, or include many turns or twists, is quite beautiful but not as exciting or fulfilling as a more interesting dance would be.
The concept of this story is around a lady who marries for convenience – ie she is of marrying age and wealth is dwindling so she needs to be married ASAP. (This book is set in 1687 – Netherlands). It turns out to be a loveless marriage (surprise surprise). The one thing her husband does do for her is buy her a doll house – a rather large one. She commissions a “miniaturist” to create pieces for her doll house. Instead, the miniaturist starts sending her dolls that represent the people in the house that which show changes to mimic the actual residents of the house. A great deal of turmoil also begins to occur with forbidden romances, unplanned pregnancies, historical feuds along with status within the house and business deals.
The characters are developed nicely and completely. Some sub plots could have been explored more, with some characters not being used to their full potential.
The book was intriguing and pleasant to read. However I feel that so much more could have been explored with the concept of the doll house pieces. For that reason, I will give this book 3 stars. It is possibly a book for people who prefer stories set in that era (similar to The Tulip Fever).