The Muse
The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller

A 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 Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences . . .

Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception - a masterpiece from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.

The Muse Details

Book TitleThe Muse
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The Muse Reviews

  • Jeanette
    Sep 23, 2016


    This novel was well written for its word choices, the flow of the prose. Jessie Burton has exceptional writing skills and she does unfold interesting tales with some memorable characters. Quick was one, and the name sticks- doesn't it?But the dual format of switching time frames and th...

  • Eman
    Sep 21, 2016


    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...

  • Candi
    Sep 19, 2016


    *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 atmo...

  • Aditi
    Sep 18, 2016


    “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, wher...

  • Jennifer
    Sep 11, 2016


    A powerful mystery about two women and the painting that finds its way into their lives. I loved The Miniaturist and Jessie Burton's second novel didn't disappoint. ...

  • Christine
    Sep 9, 2016


    Jessie Burton delivered a brilliant novel in The Muse! I absolutely loved this book! The story was SO engaging, and the characters were mysterious, yet wonderful (in my opinion). I enjoyed Burton's "Miniaturist" very much, but I loved this fascinating book. Her writing is phenomenal, a...

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    Sep 6, 2016

    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 ...

  • Perry
    Sep 6, 2016


    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, . . ...

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    Sep 5, 2016

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    I immediately can't with this writing. The black Trinidadian (is that right?) heroine speaks her dialogue in stilted English, but the first person narration is standard pretentious literary fare. This combination strikes me as both insulting and sacrificial of character building. ...

  • Books.Paper.Mania
    Sep 1, 2016


    The first book I finished in September and I'm proud to say that I've read this book for it is a literary MASTERPIECE. If I was an academic teacher, i'd teach this for my student because it represents everything related to Art & Literature.I'm really overwhelmed, I can't explain wh...