Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Muse by Jessie Burton

A special thank you to Edelweiss and The Reading Society for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Although I'm new to Burton's writing, I was aware of her successful debut The Miniaturist and was anxious to read her sophomore effort.  This book is incredibly well written and I thoroughly enjoyed Odelle's story.  She is a young, bright Trinidadian immigrant who accepts a job at a London art gallery that houses a cast of eccentric and mesmerizing characters.  The focus of the story is a painting by Isaac Robles, which brings the reader to 1937 in Spain, a few months before the artists mysterious death.

The novel takes place over a 40-year span with parallel stories that eventually intersect;  Odelle is a immigrant to London, Olive is a foreigner in Spain.  Both women create art, Odelle through the written word, and Olive paints–both woman protect their work from others and end up having their work exposed without their prior knowledge or consent.

My one criticism of the book, I found the parts of the story set in Spain were too long, and the story line wasn't as intriguing than the one in London.  I found Olive was not as enchanting as Odelle, although equally gifted, I found her self-centred and naive.

Burton is a great writer, I can't wait to check out The Miniaturist.

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