The Miniaturist book club questions

09 February 2015

If you and your book group have read The Miniaturist and are looking for some questions to kick off your discussion, then you're in the right place: these ten questions have been compiled by Jessie Burton and her editor Francesca Main.


1. How would you describe the sense of place in The Miniaturist, and how does the novel present seventeenth century Amsterdam?

2. What does the gift of the cabinet house symbolise to Nella in terms of her marriage to Johannes and her own status?

3. The Brandt household is full of secrets. Which made the biggest impression on you and why?

4. Did your attitude to the characters remain consistent throughout the novel, or did your loyalties shift as you kept reading? Which character provoked the strongest reaction from you?

5. How would you describe Nella’s relationship with Marin?  In what ways do they conflict, and are they more alike than they think?

6. What do you think was the most significant cause of the Brandt’s downfall?

7. Do you think the miniaturist is a magical force or a human one? What is the most important thing that Nella learns from her?

8. To what extent do you think Nella was in control of her own fate, or was she at the mercy of those around her? 

9. How did seventeenth century Dutch society view women, and how different is life for women today?

10. If you were Nella and had to take up her role at the end of the book, what would you do next?


Miniaturist book club questions download


We'd love to know where your discussions of The Miniaturist take you; let us know in the comments below.

The Muse

The Muse

Jessie Burton's newest book, a glittering, seductive and utterly enthralling novel about art, identity, and the hidden power within us all,The Muse, is also out now in Paperback and as an Ebook!

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 - 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 . . .

Read extract  

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