The Muse by Jessie Burton

Title: The Muse

Author:  Jessie Burton

Pub Date: June 30th, 2016

Honors: 

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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 The Muse is a fantastic read with well-plotted twists. Odelle Bastien comes to London from Trinidad looking for better life, more chances for success. She’s hired by mysterious Majorie Quick to work as a typist in Skelton Institue. Odelle is a writer, and one of her poems is a starting point of her relationship with Lawrie Scott. Lawrie is an owner of a painting that as it turns out was painted by a very promising Spanish author that we don’t know much about. Lawrie brings the painting to the Skelton for examination – an event that shakes Quick and excites gallery’s owner. All this is happening in 1960s London. In parallel to how we follow Odelle’s steps to finding out what is Quick’s connection to the painting, we are taken back to 1930s Spain when the painting depicting Saint Rufina was created. It was painted in an uncertain time in Europe but in a somewhat happy time for the artist. Olive Schloss moved to small rural town Arazuelo with her parents, and there she meets Isaac and Teresa Robles. Isaac is a socialist that is passionate about helping workers; Teresa is his half-sister who is hired as a help in Schloss’s house. Robles change Schloss lives in many ways, leaving us wondering how the painting ended up in London thirty yeats later.

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