Jessie Burton returns to family secrets in Amsterdam with 'The House of Fortune'

A woman poses next to a book
Jessie Burton returns to the austere but opulent world of 18th century Amsterdam with “The House of Fortune,” a sequel to her hit 2014 novel, “The Miniaturist.”
Courtesy photos

When “The House of Fortune” opens, Nella Brandt is 37. Almost 20 years have passed since we first met her in “The Miniaturist,” Jessie Burton’s wildly popular first book. But not much has changed. Nella still lives in the house she inherited from her dead husband. Many of the same characters inhabit her world — with one addition. Her niece, Thea, is grown and turning 18. And Nella has pinned all her hopes on Thea marrying well.

The irony is thick, although Nella doesn’t see it. Nella herself was married off at age 18, leading to the scandal that enthralled readers in “The Miniaturist.” What will happen this time? Will Nella revisit that sin on her headstrong niece? Or will Thea’s own secrets collide with the family’s?

It’s a delicious return to austere but wealthy 18th century Amsterdam, told through Burton’s sensual lens. This Friday on Big Books and Bold Ideas, host Kerri Miller sat down with Burton and talked about what it’s like to write a sequel and how looking back is often the key to moving forward.

Guest:

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