The Muse by Jessie Burton

The Muse

by Jessie Burton

The Muse is a follow up novel to Jessie Burton’s very successful first novel The Miniaturist, which has previously been reviewed by the Page Turners.

The story is told in two timelines and centres on two creatively gifted young women, Olive Schloss an artist in Spain in the l930’s at the time of the Civil War and Odelle Bastien, a writer and immigrant from Trinidad in London in the l960’s. The timelines are linked by, and woven around, an intriguing painting of a lion and a girl holding the severed head of another girl. It incorporates elements of a love story, a drama, a historical fiction and a mystery.

The majority of the Page Turners agreed that this was a most enjoyable read, well written with strong characters the portrayal of who brought them clearly into the imagination. The transition between the two timelines worked well and the story is gripping but has plenty of twists and turns which keep the reader guessing right to the end.

The author has researched the effects of the Spanish Civil War on the population with care and accuracy and paints a clear picture of the hardships suffered, which proved both interesting and informative.

Several of the Page Turners agreed that the book was more enjoyable when read over a short period of time rather than in small sections, which could make the story appear disjointed. Also one Page Turner who listened to the audio book found this appeared disjointed and would not recommend it.

The overall opinion was that The Muse is a definite Page Turner to be recommended with the scores ranging from 6 to 8.5 and averaging a final 7.5.

Our hostess, Lynne, treated us to festive Mulled Wine, Bucks Fizz , delicious homemade mince pies and other lovely goodies. We raised a toast to a Happy Christmas and the Page Turners wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year.