Title: The Muse
Author: Jessie Burton
Genre: Fiction / Historical Fiction Pages: 441
First published: 2016
Edition: Paperback, published by Picador in 2016
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.
I am not exactly disappointed in this book. It was fine. It just did not grab me.
I thought the plot was interesting, if a little predictable, the writing was pretty solid, and I liked the main character Odelle. However, nothing happened in this book that took me by surprise and there was an undertone throughout that did not sit well with me.
I like a dark atmosphere in a book as much as the next reader, but something about this book gave it a unpleasant aftertaste, if that makes sense. I liked the timeline set in 1967, but it was the one set in 1930s Spain that did not sit well with me. It was probably written that way, but I did not care for any of the characters set in that time period, in either a good or a bad way.
I did like Burton’s writing as a whole, and I would read her again, but this book did not wow me. On a positive note, I do love that cover!
4 out of 7 stars