From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturist comes a captivating and brilliantly realized story of two young women--a Caribbean immigrant in 1960s London, and a bohemian woman in 1930s Spain--and the powerful mystery that ties them together.
England, 1967. Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean émigré trying to make her way in London. When she starts working at the prestigious Skelton Institute of Art, she discovers a painting rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles, a young artist of immense talent and vision whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is matched by the intrigue around the conflicting stories of its discovery. Drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions, Odelle does not know what to believe or who she can trust, including her mesmerizing colleague, Marjorie Quick.
Spain, 1936. Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer and an English heiress, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a poor, restless village on the southern coast. She grows close to Teresa, a young housekeeper, and Teresa's half-brother, Isaac Robles, an idealistic and ambitious painter newly returned from the Barcelona salons. A dilettante buoyed by the revolutionary fervor that will soon erupt into civil war, Isaac dreams of being a painter as famous as his countryman Picasso.
Raised in poverty, these illegitimate children of the local landowner revel in exploiting the wealthy Anglo-Austrians. 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.
Rendered in exquisite detail, The Muse is a passionate and enthralling tale of desire, ambition, and the ways in which the tides of history inevitably shape and define our lives.
From Jessie Burton, author of the million-copy international bestseller The Miniaturist, comes a glittering, seductive and utterly enthralling novel about art, identity, and the hidden power within us all ...
Shortlisted for British Book Industry Awards Fiction Book of the Year 2017.
Burton's multi-layered story is never less than engaging ... she has an undoubted gift for seizing the reader's attention and holding it ... powerful ... genuinely surprising Sunday Times Deftly plotted, a masterclass in pacing, tension and suspense, and richly characterised ... exquisitely written, evocative and suspenseful Sunday Express Those who loved The Miniaturist will find here all the cliffhangers, twists and heart-stopping revelations they expected, and in two evocative settings ... as a study of female creativity, it triumphs Daily Telegraph Burton clearly has a way with words, crafting masterful, complex and atmospheric mysteries that keep the reader hooked right up until the very last page. The Muse is a brilliantly realised story and the parallel narratives are perfectly balanced, propelling the story forward at breakneck speed ... An exhilarating read, Jessie Burton can expect more awards to soon be coming her way The Herald Tremendous vitality ... her craftsmanship and surefooted prose ensure a satisfying conclusion Daily Mail Rich and gripping ... excellently explores the writing process itself ... Burton breathes life into her words Independent An intricate story of imposture ... strong on the emotional and sensual ... who would bet against it selling a million copies like its predecessor? Guardian Readers who enjoyed The Miniaturist won't be disappointed The Times Richly atmospheric and engrossing ... you'll turn the pages feverishly Daily Express Impressive ... It takes all the promise of The Miniaturist - the complex female characters, an entrancing mystery, a lush and evocative sense of place - and executes it with wit and style. My book of the summer Elle A painterly writer with an eye for the telling detail ... suspenseful ... when the postman rang the doorbell bang in the middle of the denoument, I sprinted back up six flights of stairs to know who was going to get out of Arazuelo alive The Spectator Entertainingly patterned and possessed of a propulsive narrative force ... inventive, intricate, surprising ... Burton is also adept at generating atmosphere and a sense of place (both Spain and London are vividly realised) and she brings her characters' lives a degree of commitment, imaginative compassion and detail that brings them palpably and affectingly to life The National Clever and complex, with a shocking climax ... Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful ... a masterpiece Belfast Telegraph Delves deep into another world ... the must-read of summer 2016 Glamour Jessie Burton's gripping new novel follows a young London art-gallery employee whose discovery of a lost masterpiece draws her into the mystery surrounding its provenance Harper's Bazaar A deeply involving and thought-provoking read Woman & Home Another surefire bestseller Fabulous I found it to be one of the most powerful and beautiful and original things I have read in a very long time. It is exquisite in every way -- Claire Kendal, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Book of You
Jessie Burton was born in 1982 and lives in London. She studied at Oxford University and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and worked for nine years as an actress and a PA before her first novel, The Miniaturist, was published. The Miniaturist was translated into over thirty languages and has sold over a million copies around the world.