Read The Muse by Jessie Burton Online

The Muse

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 . . ....

Title : The Muse
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062409928
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 393 pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Muse Reviews

  • Angela M

    So many novelists over these last few years, it seems are telling stories from dual time frames and if done right there can be a meaningful connection between them . I thought the story had so much promise at first. It touched on some topics that would make for interesting discussion - the view of women artists in the 1930's , who and why does the artist, painter or writer, create for - themselves, for outside praise and recognition? We glimpse civil war in Spain and it also touches on racial is ...more

  • Helene Jeppesen

    It's funny how Jessie Burton is able to write stories that are quite similar, but that are still able to evoke very opposing emotions in me. Some years ago, I read "The Miniaturist" and I wasn't impressed. I still appreciated the story, though, and so I decided to get "The Muse" as well and read it. I'm so happy I did! It turned out that I liked this novel a lot better, and in many ways I read it at just the perfect time of my life.

    "The Muse" tells the story of two women: Odelle living in 1960s
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  • Aditi

    “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”

    ----Pablo Picasso

    Jessie Burton, an English author, has penned a deeply moving and intoxicating historical fiction novel, The Muse that narrates the story of two women separated by a timeline of almost thirty years, where the one is an aspiring Trinidadian woman who finds work as a typist in art gallery of London whose odd boss encourages and explores her talent in writing stories and one day, a mysterious painting lands up in that gallery
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  • Anne

    The Muse is a book that could have been written just for me, it's a dual-time story and is set in 1930s Spain and 1960s London, the latter being one of my all time favourite eras for fiction. It's a vast, complex story that spans the decades and the continent and at its heart it has some wonderfully created female characters. It is a total joy to read, snaring the reader from page one as we meet Odelle; a young girl from Trinidad, who arrived in London a few years previously and works as a shop ...more

  • Eman



    This is the first time I read for the author. The book has an attractive cover, but unfortunately the content was underwhelming for my taste. However, art lovers might enjoy it. Despite that I do love art, it still didn't capture my senses. I'll refine this review later and mention the points that I disliked.

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    UPDATED REVIEW:

    Confession; I'm a shallow person who often falls for looks. I bought The Muse merely because of its cover. I eyed this pretty thing and thought "how gorgeous would i
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  • Rebecca

    (3.5) I enjoyed this more than The Miniaturist. One of my chief criticisms of that overhyped novel was that the setting – a few months in Amsterdam – felt claustrophobic. Well, Burton has certainly changed things up: in her new book the action spans 40 years and encompasses London, Trinidad and Spain during its Civil War. Again there’s plenty of melodrama, but I liked the contrast between the two time periods and Odelle’s voice is easy to fall for.

    There have been a number of novels recently abou
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  • Andrea

    I did not care for The Muse very much. Don't get me wrong, the writing was well-crafted, but I just couldn't connect with the story and the characters. When it comes to the plot, you'd think that a mystery involving two generations, lost art, feminist undertones, and Spanish Civil War would create a perfect narrative, but alas it failed to excite me. The characters that were supposed to glue this narrative only dragged it down with their illogical behaviors and shallow exteriors. The two protago ...more

  • Celeste

    For this and more of my reviews, as well as my friend Petrik's reviews, check out my new blog, Novel Notions.

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars

    Is there anything that holds as much sway over humankind as art?

    Whether it takes the form of music or a painting or a sculpture or the written word, nothing speaks to our souls like art. This gives artists a power over their fellow men and women. But no one doubts art so much as its creator, and so an artist’s audience holds within themselves the approval and pra

    “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.”


    In order to create art that moves and speaks and matters, an artist must find their muse. Not every muse is someone for whom the artist has romantic feelings. A muse might be a child, or an enemy, or themselves. Or perhaps instead of a human muse, an artist is inspired by nature or laughter or the idea of love. Inspiration is everywhere, and an artist might be inspired by thousands of different things within their lifetime. But a muse is something that said artist keeps returning to, something that has the power to imbue their work with life and a lushness that nothing else can quite inspire.

    Odelle is a Trinidad native trying to make a way for herself in London during the 1960s. More than anything, Odelle longs to become a published writer, but doesn’t have the faith in herself or her work to take steps in that direction. One day, she is given a position at an art gallery as a typist, which is a big step up from her job selling shoes. On her first day at her new place of employment, Odelle meets Marjorie Quick, and her life will never be the same.

    “...Is there ever such a thing as a whole story, or an artist's triumph, a right way to look through the glass? It all depends on where the light falls.”


    After Odelle’s first meeting with Quick, as she refers to herself, the storyline diverges, taking us to Spain in 1936, before the beginning of World War II. Here we meet the Schloss family. Olive is our primary character from this timeline. Olive is nineteen and ready to go live her own life, but her parents have issues. Sarah, her mother, is a British heiress and a depressive who seems always on the brink of ending her life. Harold, Olive’s father, is a Jewish art dealer in a time where his heritage was beginning to make life uncomfortable. Neither have any idea that their daughter has applied to and been accepted by the prestigious Slade School of Fine Arts. Honestly, they don’t even know that she still paints, much less that she’s talented. Her father believes strongly that only men can create true works of art with depth and merit, and so she hides her gift. Or at least, she does until she meets Teresa and Isaac Robles, siblings from a nearby village. Olive reveals her art to Teresa, who makes a decision one day that irreversibly changes all three of their lives.

    There’s little else I can say about the plot of this book without giving something important away. While many of the twists were foreshadowed, there were a couple that came as a surprise to me. I confess that this is a story that would have benefited from a bit more characterization and a little less plodding prose. While the writing was lovely, it tended toward boggy. I liked what the novel had to say about art and the process of creation, and I appreciated that the book highlighted women as artists. But none of the relationships felt true, and the characters didn’t seem to like or accept themselves, which made them hard to enjoy. All of that boils down to this: I enjoyed the philosophical aspects of the story far more than the story itself. That being said, the book has merit, especially for people who appreciate the theory of art or are artists themselves.

    “A piece of art only succeeds when it's creator...possesses the belief that brings it into being.”
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