Amsterdam, 1705. It is Thea Brandt’s eighteenth birthday. She feels ready for adulthood, but life at home is difficult. Her father Otto and her aunt Nella argue endlessly over money, selling off furniture to try to keep the family home.
As catastrophe threatens to engulf the household, Thea seeks refuge in Amsterdam’s playhouses. She loves the performances. But even better, in the backrooms of her favorite theater, Thea can spend a few precious minutes with her secret lover, Walter, the chief set painter. The thrill of their hidden romance offers Thea an exciting distraction. But it also puts her in mind of another secret that threatens to overwhelm the present: Thea knows her birthday marks the day her mother, Marin, died.
Thea’s family refuses to share the details, and they seem terrified to speak of “the miniaturist”—a shadowy figure from their past who possesses uncanny abilities to capture that which is hidden.
Aunt Nella believes the solution to all Thea’s problems is to find her a husband. An unexpected invitation to Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball seems like a golden opportunity. But when Thea finds a parcel containing a miniature figure of Walter, it becomes clear that someone out there has another fate in mind for the family . . .
A feat of sweeping, magical storytelling, The House of Fortune is an unputdownable novel about love and obsession, family and loyalty, and the fantastic power of secrets.