“In the end, a piece of art only succeeds when its creator… possesses the belief that brings it into being.”
– Jessie Burton, The Muse
The international bestselling author of The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton, is back with a brilliantly written story of two young women and a powerful mystery that ties them together.
Have you ever seen a painting, read a poem or heard a song and wondered what the inspiration behind it was? The Muse is about what fueled the creation of several works of art and the secrets that unfold because of them. Readers quickly learn that a painting can hide a thousand words.
Before we get more into the story though, can we just talk about the cover? Seriously, this is one of those books that is so pretty, you buy just to have it on your bookshelf! Am I right, Savvy Readers?
Aside from wanting to peek at the gorgeous cover, this wasn’t an easy book to put down. Every time I did, I couldn’t get the story out of my mind and I was dying to know what would happen next.
The Muse tells two separate stories that take place over a 40 year span, one set in 1967 London and the other in 1936 Spain. These stories, although you don’t know how much until the very end, eventually intersect, their timelines linking by the acts of art, love and secrets.
Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean immigrant trying to find her place in London, 1967. Burton invites us to see wartime in London through the eyes of a recent immigrant. Working at a prestigious art gallery, Odelle discovers a painting that is rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles, a young and talented artist whose mysterious death has perplexed the art community for decades.
Odelle’s discovery of the painting brings readers to Spain, 1936, just a few months before the artist’s enigmatic death. Here we meet Olive Schloss, the daughter of an art dealer and an English heiress, who has travelled with her parents to an impoverished village. There, she befriends the young housekeeper, Teresa Robles, and her half-brother Isaac. Teresa and Isaac help Olive to conceal her artistic talents, but their help may result in devastating consequences that will echo in the decades to come.
The Muse kept me guessing until the very end; it’s one of those books that features the excruciating wait you are going to experience until you read the last page. Jump into this enthralling tale of desire and ambition and discover the ways that history can so easily shape and define our lives.