British Book Awards: Fiction Book of the Year
Specsavers Silver Bestseller Award
The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Richard and Judy Book Club selection.
Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception – a masterpiece from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.
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 . . .
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
Deftly plotted, a masterclass in pacing, tension and suspense, and richly characterised . . . exquisitely written, evocative and suspenseful
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