Title – The House of Fortune
Author – Jessie Burton
Published – 2022
Genre – Historical fiction
This is the sequel to Jessie Burton’s million-copy bestseller The Miniaturist, returning us to Nella’s mysterious family in historic 18th-century Amsterdam for a story of fate and fortune.
I’m not sure if Jessie Burton was daunted at the idea of picking up Nella’s story again but the amount of love people felt for the character must have created some pressure. Opening the first pages of the book (the hardback is a beautiful edition) whisks you straight to the house on Herengracht canal and you’re back in that same world. Set 18 years after the events of the original, we find Nella, now 37, living in the same grand house that she moved into as a young bride.
The house is populated by Nella, Otto and cook Cornelia who have banded together to raise Marin’s daughter, Thea. As Thea celebrates her 18th birthday Nella believes that the financial pressure on the household may be lifted if Thea can make a good match – not something that Thea necessarily agrees with. Whilst Thea is coming of age Nella is reflecting on a life sequestered behind closed doors.
The story is one of difference, adaptability, growth and love – and reflects some of the same patterns as its predecessor. A worthy sequel.