The Muse, by Jessie Burton

The Muse was delightful in almost every way. Rich settings and and flowing prose paint a captivating tale that switches between an English artist, caught in the Port of Spain on the brink of World War 2, and a Trinidadian writer working for a London art dealer. 30 years separate their stories, but as the story progresses their lives become increasingly intertwined. It touches on the difficulties of female artists in the thirties, and the struggles of getting published as a black woman in 1960s England, but doesn’t dwell too heavily on it; it is seamlessly woven into the story and doesn’t feel forced or “put on.”

I really enjoyed this book. I read her first book, The Miniaturist, a few months ago, and was very disappointed in it. It had a lot of good potential, but the subject matter crossed a line and became too icky and sexual for me to see past. However, her writing style is one that I love very much, and I decided to give her one more chance. I am so glad that I did, because I could not put this book down! Definitely very fun to read.

I’d give this a 4/5, if only just for some pretty predictable characters (although the twist at the end did get me!).

Give this a read if you’re a fan of Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper, and if you’re in the mood for a colorful mishmash of mystery, history, romance and drama.


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