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The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Richard and Judy Book Club selection.
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 . . .
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.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
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 * Sunday Times * Deftly plotted, a masterclass in pacing, tension and suspense, and richly characterised . . . exquisitely written, evocative and suspenseful * Sunday Express * 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 * Daily Telegraph * Burton clearly has a way with words, crafting masterful, complex and atmospheric mysteries that keep the reader hooked right up until the very last page. The Muse is a brilliantly realised story and the parallel narratives are perfectly balanced, propelling the story forward at breakneck speed . . . An exhilarating read, Jessie Burton can expect more awards to soon be coming her way * The Herald * Tremendous vitality . . . her craftsmanship and surefooted prose ensure a satisfying conclusion * Daily Mail * Rich and gripping . . . excellently explores the writing process itself . . . Burton breathes life into her words * Independent * An intricate story of imposture . . . strong on the emotional and sensual . . . who would bet against it selling a million copies like its predecessor? * Guardian * Readers who enjoyed The Miniaturist won't be disappointed * The Times * Richly atmospheric and engrossing . . . you'll turn the pages feverishly * Daily Express * Impressive . . . It takes all the promise of The Miniaturist - the complex female characters, an entrancing mystery, a lush and evocative sense of place - and executes it with wit and style. My book of the summer * Elle * A painterly writer with an eye for the telling detail . . . suspenseful . . . when the postman rang the doorbell bang in the middle of the denoument, I sprinted back up six flights of stairs to know who was going to get out of Arazuelo alive * The Spectator * Entertainingly patterned and possessed of a propulsive narrative force . . . inventive, intricate, surprising . . . Burton is also adept at generating atmosphere and a sense of place (both Spain and London are vividly realised) and she brings her characters' lives a degree of commitment, imaginative compassion and detail that brings them palpably and affectingly to life * The National * Clever and complex, with a shocking climax . . . Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful . . . a masterpiece * Belfast Telegraph * Delves deep into another world . . . the must-read of summer 2016 * Glamour * Jessie Burton's gripping new novel follows a young London art-gallery employee whose discovery of a lost masterpiece draws her into the mystery surrounding its provenance * Harper's Bazaar * A deeply involving and thought-provoking read * Woman & Home * Another surefire bestseller * Fabulous * I found it to be one of the most powerful and beautiful and original things I have read in a very long time. It is exquisite in every way -- Claire Kendal, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Book of You A beautifully crafted, simmering love story * Glamour (10 Best Novels of 2016) * Jessie Burton's The Muse is both elegant and as gripping as a thriller, even better than her first -- SJ Watson * Guardian *