The Muse by Jessie Burton

The Muse

The Sunday Times Number One BestsellerA picture hides a thousand words . . .On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Od...

Details The Muse

TitleThe Muse
Release DateJul 26th, 2016
Number of pages416 pages
GenreHistorical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Historical, Adult

Reviews The Muse

  • karen
    proper review now written, following my long anecdotal tale.when i was packing up my go-bag to prepare for my recent adventure in back surgery, when there was still a 50/50 chance i would have to stay at least one night in the hospital following the procedure, and remembering the mistakes i made years ago during back surgery #1 when the "you will be staying here for three nights" announcement came as a complete surprise and i told sean of the hou...
  • Will Byrnes
    As an image it was simple and at the same time not easily decipherable—a girl, holding another girl’s severed head in her hands on one side of the painting, and on the other, a lion, sitting on his haunches, not yet springing for the kill. It had the air of a fable. I am sure most of you have had the experience of seeing a painting and wondering what was the inspiration for its creation. Or pondered what might lay behind the mystery, of, say ...
  • Angela M
    So many novelists over these last few years, it seems are telling stories from dual time frames and if done right there can be a meaningful connection between them . I thought the story had so much promise at first. It touched on some topics that would make for interesting discussion - the view of women artists in the 1930's , who and why does the artist, painter or writer, create for - themselves, for outside praise and recognition? We glimpse c...
  • Candi
    *3.5 stars*Having previously read Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, I was quite excited to pick up a copy of her newest novel, The Muse. I must say that although this one was a decent read, I enjoyed The Miniaturist more. I think what captured me with her earlier novel was the atmosphere and the characters. The mood in The Miniaturist was stifling, but in a way that intrigued me and pulled me into the story. I became attached to the main charact...
  • Andrew Smith
    I pressed on beyond half-way but then gave up. First DNF in a while. In truth, I thought it was simply dreadful.I’d read a good deal about Jessie Burton and I know her first book, The Miniaturist, has proved to be something of a literary sensation. This book, her second, sounded interesting too: interlocking stories set in 1930’s Spain and 1960’s London. There’s a mystery concerning a painting too – I liked that, it reminded me of the ...
  • Simon
    You know when you love a book so much you're ridiculously excited and desperate to read the authors next but also really worried you won't love it as much which makes your tummy go funny... then you read it and kick yourself because it's utterly superb? That's what's happened with The Muse. It's fuzzing brilliant and I was a foolish nervous fool.
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:In her follow-up to her acclaimed novel The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton adopts a dual timeline structure, following the lives of two creatively gifted women separated by time and place, but linked by a luminous, long-hidden painting that bodes well to take the art world by storm, and a decades-old mystery about the artist. The Muse (2016) lacks the subtle element of magical realism that lent a myste...
  • Melissa
    I must have been living under a rock for the last few years. I had never heard of Jessie Burton or her first, immensely popular novel “The Miniaturist”, before The Muse came into my radar. I don’t tend to read much historical fiction, so perhaps that is why it was lost on me. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book because of the former, and I got to ignore all of that and come at my review with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective...
  • Perry
    Paintings. Spain 1936. London 1967. A mystery. Romance. War. Art in life. Family. Friendship. Betrayal. Life in art. "Art rarely obeys human desire. I expect such a painting left its imprint even when he couldn't see it." "In the end, a piece of art only succeeds when its creator, . . ., possesses the belief that brings it into being."I intend to write a more complete review within the next 2 days. I just wanted to say, until then, that I really ...
  • Rebecca Foster
    (3.5) I enjoyed this more than The Miniaturist. One of my chief criticisms of that overhyped novel was that the setting – a few months in Amsterdam – felt claustrophobic. Well, Burton has certainly changed things up: in her new book the action spans 40 years and encompasses London, Trinidad and Spain during its Civil War. Again there’s plenty of melodrama, but I liked the contrast between the two time periods and Odelle’s voice is easy to...
  • Hannah Greendale
    When good covers happen to bad books, the end result is something like The Muse. Slogging through this book is as much fun as watching paint dry. Never has a book taken so long to reveal such a predictable plot. The book's weaknesses are many, and examples follow with passages carefully selected to avoid spoilers. The author explores various vernaculars, but the execution is awkward to read and a painful distraction: 'Ah not readin' at some meet...
  • Laura
    I generously received a copy of the book from Harper Collins Publishers/Ecco. First, I absolutely loved Burton's debut novel The Miniaturist, so I was skeptical as to how I would like the 2nd novel. The books are totally different in nature. But, honestly, they are both fabulous reads and receive 5 stars from me! So, if you are a reader that loved or hated The Miniaturist, The Muse may be one to take a chance on. Seems like a win/win situation to...
  • Giovanna
    I received this arc from Edelweiss and Harper Collins, in exchange for an honest review.*all these quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof of the book, so they might be subject to change. "My life was a beanstalk and I was Jack, and the foliage was shooting up and up, abundant, impressive, at such that I could barely cling on. I loved and I lost love; I found new creativity and a sense of belonging. And something deeper happened, something dar...
  • helen the bookowl
    It's funny how Jessie Burton is able to write stories that are quite similar, but that are still able to evoke very opposing emotions in me. Some years ago, I read "The Miniaturist" and I wasn't impressed. I still appreciated the story, though, and so I decided to get "The Muse" as well and read it. I'm so happy I did! It turned out that I liked this novel a lot better, and in many ways I read it at just the perfect time of my life. "The Muse" te...
  • Aditi
    “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” ----Pablo PicassoJessie Burton, an English author, has penned a deeply moving and intoxicating historical fiction novel, The Muse that narrates the story of two women separated by a timeline of almost thirty years, where the one is an aspiring Trinidadian woman who finds work as a typist in art gallery of London whose odd boss encourages and explores her talent in writing stories and one...
  • Bettie☯
    BABT When on a summer's day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the steps of the Skelton gallery in London to take up a position as typist, she little realises how significantly her life is about to change. For there she meets the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick, who soon takes Odelle into her confidence and encourages her to pursue her dream of writing. But Odelle senses there is something th...
  • Alena
    I liked this a lot -- enough to stay up too late and sneak chapters in between errands. Mostly I appreciate its sense of unrest -- artistic, political, racial, relationship-based. I think Burton writes women well and there was enough mystery in the plot to make me want to keep turning pages.
  • Eman
    This is the first time I read for the author. The book has an attractive cover, but unfortunately the content was underwhelming for my taste. However, art lovers might enjoy it. Despite that I do love art, it still didn't capture my senses. I'll refine this review later and mention the points that I disliked.__________UPDATED REVIEW:Confession; I'm a shallow person who often falls for looks. I bought The Muse merely because of its cover. I eyed t...
  • Sandra
    Review to come.
  • Anne
    The Muse is a book that could have been written just for me, it's a dual-time story and is set in 1930s Spain and 1960s London, the latter being one of my all time favourite eras for fiction. It's a vast, complex story that spans the decades and the continent and at its heart it has some wonderfully created female characters. It is a total joy to read, snaring the reader from page one as we meet Odelle; a young girl from Trinidad, who arrived in ...
  • Bandit
    I actually haven't read Burton before, although I was aware of the success of her debut, The Miniaturist, and its lovely cover. And so I can't speak to how this hold up as a sophomore effort, but on its own it's a thing of beauty. The sort of novel that really draws the readers in, emotionally devastates them, moves, awes, wows. In short, it's the book that makes you love books and their diverting, engaging and stirring powers. Plot wise, it's a ...
  • Andrea
    I did not care for The Muse very much. Don't get me wrong, the writing was well-crafted, but I just couldn't connect with the story and the characters. When it comes to the plot, you'd think that a mystery involving two generations, lost art, feminist undertones, and Spanish Civil War would create a perfect narrative, but alas it failed to excite me. The characters that were supposed to glue this narrative only dragged it down with their illogica...
  • Brooke
    4.5 rating!I think I loved The Miniaturist a little bit more, but Jessie Burton is fast approaching to becoming in my top favorite writers. This definitely started out really slow, but once I got into the story and things started to come together I couldn't put it down. Burton is a very talented storyteller. Her writing is gorgeous and I ended up really loving this book! The message is universal and I love books that span different time periods, ...
  • Shomeret
    I hadn't read The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton because a couple of my Goodreads friends had negative comments in their reviews that made it sound like a book that I wouldn't enjoy. Yet I will give an author more of a chance when the novel sounds like it will be of special interest to me. I received a free print format ARC of Burton's second novel, The Muse, from the publisher in return for this honest review. I was particularly drawn to The Muse b...
  • Aimee
    4.5 stars. Such a beautifully crafted and underrated novel, I shall definitely be picking up Jessie Burton's other book as I absolutely adored her writing style :)
  • Gitte
    Odelle Bastien is an intelligent young woman with author ambitions and an interest in art. When she takes a job at an art gallery, she becomes friends with her boss, the mysterious Marjorie Quick, who has a big secret. Odelle becomes entangled in a complicated story about art, gender and deceit. With flashbacks to Spain in 1936, the secret is revealed bit by bit.From a decade of devouring novels, Olive knew that charming men were deadly. Their st...
  • Sumaiyya Naseem
    Quick Review: Read this artsy mystery, it's gripping and beautiful. I finished reading The Muse just a few minutes ago. I've no idea how to describe what I just read, except that it's probably one of the best art mysteries I've ever read. It's WAY better than The Miniaturist; Burton's writing and storytelling has evolved so much with The Muse. The book properly explores the process of artists - particular a painter and a writer - discovering thei...
  • Liviu
    from the popular and crowded sub-genre of present/past stories linked in twisting ways and full of mysteries that are slowly and carefully revealed, The Muse is a superior offering that kept me turning pages until the end; I loved the first person narration of the "present" story (it actually takes place in 1967 and the blurb above gives enough details, maybe too many actually), while the tension in the second narrative (1936 Andalusia, enough sa...
  • Sandra
    3.5 stars. I had a hard time deciding if I should round it up to 4, or down to 3. I enjoyed it very much, but the last 15% of the book kind of ruined things to me.
  • Nita Kohli
    I bought this book because:1. I read 'The Minitiarist' by Jessie Burton last year and though I was not sold by it I still liked it. I loved Burton's writing enough to try another book from her. So, when 'The Muse' came out I decided to read it as soon as I can.2. IT HAS A VERY BEAUTIFUL COVER!! The hardback edition of this book is so pretty that I had to buy it. As some might know that book covers matter a lot to me. So, yes...I saw the book and ...