Home Home Home

July 28, 2015

Book Club: The Miniturist

The book club choice after Girl on a Train was the Miniturist by Jesse Burton


Review/Synopsis From Amazon
Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam—a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion—a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.
”There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .“
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist—an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?
Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

July 17, 2015

Multi-Generational Living

My mom use to dream of a commune where all of her kids would live with their children. We would share a stable, pool and playground surrounded by houses for each family. It would make spending time with the most important people in her life easier. No fighting for time or space. She could see her grandchildren whenever it was possible.

I always thought that it was a funny idea.
A dream dependent on a winning lottery ticket.

Little did I know that I would be living as close to that as possible before I was 30, without a lotto ticket.
It’s called multi-generational living.
Our society call us the boomerang kids.

A little over a year ago Jake and I made the decision to move in with Jake’s mom and step dad. It wasn’t an easy decision, but with all of the changes that were headed our way with MCAT testing, med school application and interviews and Jaxon, it seemed like the logical thing to do. We packed up our condo, were nearly evicted by our landlords who wanted us out before the beginning of the month, and moved into the new place within 2 weeks.

It has been an interesting year. One in which I have been learning a lot about myself and my great big family.
Living with Jake’s mom and step dad was fairly easy. It was a year of adjustment for them in their new house, as well as us. Sometimes we were just living in the moment, trying to tread water with the things life was throwing at us. Other times living in the same house was a blessing.
Sure, there were challenges. But it has made our family stronger.
There is so much less pretense and more understanding.

This past month we welcomed Jake’s sister and family into the house.

3 families under 1 roof.


The B's

Mimi and Pa-Pa (and a sleeping Jax)
You read that right...
6 adults.
3 kids.
3 dogs.
1 cat.

(Poor Ezekiel.)

They are in contract to build a house and their house sold fairly fast. It made just as much sense to move in with all of us than to rent a tiny apartment.
More sense, obviously.

So we are in the awkward learning phase of living together.
Things are getting moved, schedules figured out, groceries split.
It’s a time of adjustment and grace.

It’s going to be a challenge. It’s also a great opportunity.
We are all hoping that we come away from this short time together with a fresh understanding, view and appreciation for each other.
And hopefully we won’t hate each other.