“A complex, vividly drawn tale . . . about creative freedom, finding one’s voice, and the quest for artistic redemption.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Readers who enjoy mystery, psychological drama, historical fiction, art, and intrigue will find much to enjoy in The Muse. Burton’s double story itself is deliciously more than the sum of its parts.” (<em>Washington Independent Review of Books</em>)
“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))
“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))
“Burton’s devotion to her female characters sustains the novel. . . . Fans will be happy to reunite with her committed storytelling.” (<em>Kirkus Reviews</em>)
“Burton emerges as the architect of a well-structured and intricate plot with tremendous scope, and a stylist with a talent for recreating life’s ordinary and extraordinary moments alike in great splashes of colour. . . . Riveting and deeply intimate.” (<em>Financial Times</em>)
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.