Book Review, Fiction, History, Mystery

Review: The Muse by Jessie Burton [PICADOR]

After her first novel, The Miniaturist became a hit in 2014, Jessie Burton returns with a historical fictional novel set to have readers hooked for days with The Muse:

Something that really stood out about The Muse is just how BRITISH it is! From the story’s setting to the way in which the characters interact with one another even to the character’s mannerisms. It all blends so well together making a fun light read (it’s still a light read for a 400+ pager).

The Muse’s storyline is filled with different emotions and themes but what transcends every chapter is the value of relationships. This comes across in both the stories of Cynth and, later in the book, of Olive. For example, with Odelle’s story, you’re slowly eased into it with her friendship with her best friend Cynth, her professional relationship with her boss Quick and her passive-aggressive relationship with a stranger she meets at Cynth’s wedding. Some qualities that I see in Odelle and Cynth’s friendship reminded me of some of my fondest friendships going back years when I found myself in a new setting. Odelle’s relationship with Quick also somewhat resembles the love/hate relationship I have with my boss.

Something else I liked about The Muse was how Burton combined the past and the present, using entirely different characters. At first, I was caught off-guard, but later in the book, I learned to love it about this book!

My Favourite Quote:

“Like most artists, everything I produced was connected to who I was – and so I suffered according to how my work was received. The idea that anyone might be able to detach their personal value from their public output was revolutionary.”

If you’re looking for a novel that will swallow you in from the moment you start reading, The Muse is the book for you!

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If you’d like to get a second opinion on Jessie Burton’s latest novel, check out The Book Musings’ review of The Muse on her blog: here.

Loot: R245 (paperback) here

Readers Warehouse: R392 (hardback) here  R240 (paperback) here

Recommended Reading:

  • Jessie Burton – The Miniaturist
  • Zadie Smith – Swing Time

Praise:

“Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception – a masterpiece from the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.”

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