The Muse | Jessie Burton | Book Review

The Muse
Jessie Burton
June and Juliy 2016
Hardback and Audio
Bought myself and Audible .com

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

I waited a couple of days before I sat down to write this, I had to take time to digest and assemble 


I found this book engaging at first and thought I was onto a winner, sadly it wore off.  I thought it was really readable and amiable until I hit the part where it goes back in time.

Previous to that, we meet Odelle who works in a shoe shop with her best friend and living companion, the year is 1967 and they have both come from overseas to work.

Odelle applies for a job in a museum and meets the enigmatic Marjorie Quick who immediately takes her under, her very experienced wing.

Cynthia her best friend marries and moves out, Odelle finds herself afloat and decides to  put all her energy into her work, this happens after a man she meet at Cynthia’s wedding comes to the museum with a painting.

We do actually find out later in the book that this particular painting is quite controversial and beneath the swerves and curves of the art work lies deceit and anguish.

As I mentioned  earlier, the story flips and we are introduced to a new set of characters and are invited to join the story that is the making of said painting and all the mystique that surrounds it. This is the point in which I was reaching for the book less and less, I connected with Odelle and her world but alas the others did not capture me at all and felt nothing for their plights.

I did switch to the audio version at this point and it defiantly saved ‘ the bacon’ because I think I would have DNF’d it at this point.

I still dipped in and out of the book, to re-aquaint myself with the physical copy and re flick through some pages and relished the chapters that I enjoyed.

The ending was quite satisfactory and Burton tied up all the loose ends with aplomb. It is an intricate plotline and well written, but just not for me, I felt a tad underwhelmed, especially after THE MINIATURIST, but I will look forward to see what she comes up with next.

If you enjoy a good plotline and some intrigue, with a smidgen of death licked through the pages, then give this a try, if you are not too sure, then visit your local library and support them 🙂

I cannot leave without mentioned the audio version, the narration was good, the narrator spoke clearly and she was not too heavily accented, she did a good jog voicing all the different characters and you could tell who she ‘was’ by her tone.

This book will stay in my collection, as the THE COVER IS BLOODY GORGEOUS  and I did like it to a degree, so IT STAYS!

If you have read this and have a totally different opinion, if you agree with me, please let me know and lets chat!

Thank you for dropping by and have a booktastic day!