Do you know that cozy feeling of meeting an old friend after a long time? That’s exactly how I felt when I reading The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton, sequel of The Miniaturist (my review). What a lovely rendezvous!
The House of Fortune in a nutshell
The House of Fortune tells the fiction story of Thea, the 18-year-old teenager of the Brandt family, a well-known family in Amsterdam in the 1700s. Thea is quite a special girl for those times, as she was brought into the world through the love between a rich white mother and a Black father (previously enslaved).
While Thea is on a journey to discover herself, her father Otto and her aunt Nella (if you read the Miniaturist, you know them!) are struggling financially, selling furniture and valuable paintings in order to survive. Quite a change compared to how rich the Brandt family used to be …
I loved reading The Miniaturist, so it’s no wonder that I have the same feelings towards The House of Fortune.
On one hand, the story itself is super captivating and it seamlessly transports you to Amsterdam – one of my favourite cities in Europe 🙂
On the other hand, getting back to the Brandt family after 18 years, knowing their troubled past from The Miniaturist, adds an extra layer of emotions. Reading The House of Fortune as a stand-alone is possible, but I highly recommend reading The Miniaturist first.
Race and women in the early 18th century
I’d say that race and women’s lives are 2 key themes of The House of Fortune, and both are illustrated through Thea. Young and restless, she starts learning about society’s expectations towards women (yes, you guessed it, get married and have children). She also starts feeling on her own how her skin colour is the only thing people see when looking at her …
I do think that racism and biases towards women are 2 topics are still very much valid today. Despite the shifts in (some) mindsets, compared to the 18th century, my personal opinion is that there is still so much to improve.
The real life miniaturist
Let’s talk about the book cover. It’s not only a gorgeous piece of art, but it is also taking the Miniaturist concept from the book to the real life. The cabinet model from the cover was created in 3D by Line Lunnemann Andersen, while the illustrations were created by Dave Hopkins.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes from the process of creating the 3D model:
All in all, I recommend reading The House of Fortune if you enjoyed reading The Miniaturist 🙂 It can be an interesting read as a stand-alone, as well, but the best reading experience would be to read it after getting in touch with the early history of the Brandt family … the events from The House of Fortune will make much more sense.
‘Till next time … happy reading!
Cover picture: Amazon.co.uk
PS: PS: I received a digital copy of this book at my request, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My review expresses my own thoughts about the story and it is not influenced in any way by the publisher or the author. The book is published on July 7th, 2022.