“[A] smart blend of literary and commercial fiction with intriguing characters and a compelling mystery at its center... Burton creatively infuses historical fiction with mystery in her exploration of the far-reaching consequences of deception, the relationship between art and artist, and the complex trajectory of women’s desires. (Booklist)
“A simmering historical love story” (Glamour UK)
“Like its predecessor, this is a tale with a refreshingly feminist slant, interested in the slipperiness of meaning” (Daily Mail (UK))
“[A] rich palette of ideas and emotions… The novel excellently explores the writing process itself.” (Independent (UK))
The Muse is a brilliantly realised story, and the parallel narratives are perfectly balanced, propelling the story forward at break-neck speed... Jessie Burton can expect more awards to soon be coming her way. (Sunday Herald, Scotland)
“If you read and loved The Miniaturist, Burton’s enchanting bestseller set in 17th-century Amsterdam, The Muse arrives just in time for the end of summer... Love, war, desire, and art—it’s all here.” (Elle)
“The Muse... asks us to pay close attention, given the unexpected paths that wander variously through time, race, global politics and art history…[A] well crafted tale that draws you in, and in the end, respects you as a reader.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“Jessie Burton meticulously reconstructs two different worlds… and ruminates on the nature of truth in art.. Told with remarkable care and evident research… A serpentine tale about art, truth and artistic ambition… [A] beautifully constructed story of art, ambition and the sacrifices one makes in the pursuit of both.” (Bookreporter.com)
From the Back Cover
It’s 1967 and Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean émigré trying to make her way in London. She takes a job at the prestigious Skelton Institute of Art and is taken under the wing of the mesmerizing and mysterious Marjorie Quick. When Odelle discovers a painting rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles—a Spanish artist whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades—she finds herself drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions.
The truth about the painting lies in rural Spain, 1936, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harboring ambitions of her own. Olive grows close to Teresa, a young housekeeper, and Teresa’s half brother, Isaac Robles, a painter buoyed by the revolutionary fervor that will soon erupt into civil war. Insinuating themselves into the Schloss family’s lives, Teresa and Isaac help Olive conceal her artistic talents with devastating consequences that will echo into the decades to come.
In vividly rendered detail, acclaimed and bestselling author Jessie Burton spins a tale of desire, ambition, and how the tides of history inevitably shape and define our lives.