Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Fiction Award 2016.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.
In the footsteps of THE MINIATURIST, Jessie Burton's second novel confirms her as a wonderful storyteller with a vivid imagination and empathy for a broad range of disparate characters. No wonder that this novel is already high on the bestseller lists. Set in 1960s London, this tale of Odelle, a young woman from the Caribbean settling in London in a secretarial position at an art gallery with curious colleagues and hoping to become a writer unfolds like silk, smooth and fascinating in parallel to an eventually tragic tale set in Spain in the mid 1930s on the eve of the Spanish Civil War about the painting of a mysterious set of masterpieces. Burton engineers the two plots and the way they embed with each other like a meticulous jeweller and the scope of the novel increases with every passing page and revelations occur to make the whole quite unforgettable and moving as it rushes to its conclusion all too fast. All human life is here. Savour slowly. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
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 ...
|Publication date:||29th December 2016|
|Primary Genre||Relationship Stories|
Closing date: 22/05/2022
'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
Jessie Burton was born in 1982. She studied at Oxford University and the Central School of Speech and Drama, and has worked as an actress and a PA in the City. She now lives in south-east London, not far from where she grew up.More About Jessie Burton