The Muse book club questions

21 December 2016

If you and your book group have read Jessie Burton's The Muse and are looking for some questions to kick off your discussion, we've got just what you need. 


1. The Muse weaves together stories set in 1960s London and 1930s Spain. How evocative did you find these settings and what did you learn about life at that time? Did you prefer one of these plot strands to the other? 

2. Odelle and Olive both have to overcome obstacles in order to pursue their artistic passions. Are there other similarities between these two characters? 
3. Of all the characters in the novel, whose life do you feel was most affected by the painting that connects them all? 
4. There are many examples of a close female friendship in the novel – which left the deepest impression on you? Would you say the characters’ friendships or their romantic relationships ultimately shaped them most? 
5. What did you make of Isaac Robles and his involvement in both the Schloss family and the rising tensions in Spain?
6. Teresa struggles to keep Olive’s secret. Do you feel she acted with Olive’s best interests at heart? What would you have done? 
7. What did you make of Marjorie Quick and her role in Odelle’s life? 
8. The Muse explores the relationship between an artist or writer and their creative work – how important do you think the identity of the creator is to a piece of art or writing? 
9. The women in The Muse all hide a part of themselves. Why do you think they each feel compelled to do so, and are there similar pressures on women today? 
10. Has a book or work of art ever changed your life – if so, what was it and can you describe the effect it had on you?

The Muse

The Muse

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London to begin a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

An unforgettable new novel from the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.

The Muse 
is out now in Paperback and Ebook. 

Read extract  

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