Jessie Burton and her best-selling debut title, The Miniaturist, has been voted by the public, the 2014 Specsavers Book of the Year.

Burton’s critically acclaimed novel won by a significant margin ahead of the 10 category winners from this year’s National Book Awards, including We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, Us by David Nicholls and Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall.

Best-selling of the decade
Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam, The Miniaturist swiftly became the best-selling literary debut hardback of the decade. Fittingly, Jesse Burton won the New Writer of the Year prize at the Specsavers National Book Awards 2014 qualifying for the Specsavers Book of the Year public vote.

Jessie Burton said: ‘I am indebted forever to the voting public for this incredible honour. It is no exaggeration to say this has been a life-transforming year for me, and this award is a very big cherry on the cake. There are always stories to write, and people who want to read them, and as the year closes, I find this very heartening news indeed. This wonderful acknowledgement will propel me into 2015, and I am deeply thankful to everyone who took the time to vote.’

Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, said: ‘Congratulations to Jessie Burton. It’s wonderful to see the Specsavers Book of the Year go to a new talent and we look forward to see what’s next from this very gifted author.’

National award
Amanda Ross, joint MD of Cactus TV, added: ‘The National Book Awards reflect the tastes of the nation, and the nominees are some of the biggest titles of the year across all genres, so it’s an amazing achievement for a debut author to triumph over such a prestigious field.’

The only book award chosen by readers themselves, the Book of the Year is a true test of popularity. Previous winners include The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (2013), Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (2012), Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman (2011) and One Day by David Nicholls (2010).


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