Review of ‘The House of Fortune’ by Jessie Burton

This sequel to The Miniaturist was mostly a very good read, although a little thin on plot towards the end. You don’t have to read or even re-read The Miniaturist first, as there are sufficient explanations in this book.

I’m going to be vague about the story, to avoid spoilers for its predecessor in case you’re planning to read that. Set in Amsterdam in 1705, the story follows the emotional dynamics of a household – 18-year-old Thea, her father Otto, aunt Nella and the cook Cornelia. Thea is expected to marry a man of fortune, not that anyone wants her to, but it seems this is the only way for the family to regain their status.

I enjoyed being back in historical Amsterdam for this novel and to explore the backgrounds of familiar characters. The writing style veered between impressing me and irritating me! There are four instances of someone feeling ‘pinioned’ and for some reason I wasn’t keen on that, or someone looking like part of their soul had been ‘vaporised’! Occasionally I felt that it was overwritten, i.e. the same thing said in several ways. On the other hand, there were some lovely descriptions and a careful attention to detail to bring the setting to life.

In summary, an unnecessary sequel which is not as good as The Miniaturist but is worth a read.

Published in 2022.

10 thoughts on “Review of ‘The House of Fortune’ by Jessie Burton”

  1. I have this on my book shelf, it looks at me daily, but I don’t know when I’m going to get to read it!

    1. I’m you will like this one then! It’s not quite the same league, in my opinion, but you might think differently 🙂

  2. Hm… unnecessary sequel… hm… I liked the first one, and I have another of her books on my shelf. Maybe I’ll wait and read that one first.

    1. I have read The Muse, had rather mixed feelings about it (review coming up), The House of Fortune was a better read than that.

  3. Aw snap, that’s unfortunate. The first book does sound like it was a way superior tale compared to this one. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. It’s still a good read but hasn’t really got the same magic. I wasn’t desperate to read it but I saw the library had it.

  4. That’s interesting. I was not impressed by The Miniaturist at all and writing even there irritated me (“Nella looks” and “Nella feels” there constantly!), but the one thing you note here that I did like there was the atmosphere of historical Amsterdam. I guess after a very successful debut, the appeal and pressure of producing a sequel are inevitable, even if understood needless. Even repeating a fraction of that success is worth writing a book.

    1. So many people enjoyed The Miniaturist and of course it made a good TV series so the sequel would obviously be a bestseller. I liked The House of Fortune better than her previous book The Muse. Also I have The Confession on my shelf but it can wait several months, I’m not eager to read it.

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