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review 2017-05-23 14:01
"La musa", de Jessie Burton.
La musa (Novela) - Jessie Burton

Primera novela del año que va directa al Salón de la Fama (desde "Cinco esquinas" de Vargas Llosa nadie había tenido ese honor).

No desvelaré mucho, pero la trama se desarrolla alrededor de un cuadro, y en dos épocas distintas, 1936 y 1967. Hay de todo: intriga, arte, amor... de todo. 

Muy recomendable también de esta autora "The miniaturist".

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review 2016-11-16 23:29
Dual time periods and a fabulous painting ...
The Muse - Jessie Burton

I enjoyed Jessie Burton's first book, The Miniaturist, and couldn't wait to read her new novel, The Muse. Both were enjoyable reads, but I did miss the magical realism element from The Miniaturist, while The Muse had a more satisfying ending.

 

The Muse is split between two time periods, Spain in 1936 and London in 1967.

The Spanish Civil War is brewing when teenage Olive Schloss arrives with her German art dealer father and English socialite mother. They move in to a fabulous old Spanish finca and are immediately approached by Isaac Robles and his sister, Teresa, who are searching for work. I loved these complicated characters and they effectively created a link to the approaching war.

Olive is an accomplished artist but her father is unaware of his daughter's talents and so it is Isaac Robles who he encourages to paint. One painting from this era finds its way into the 1960s story and to the Skelton Gallery, but its history is unknown and its provenance questionable. Is it a valuable missing gem from the past and if so, how did it find its way to the gallery??

 

Thirty years later, Odelle Bastien and her friend, Cynth, have left Trinidad and come to London to find work and improve their fortunes, but so far, a job in the Dolcis shoe shop is the best they have achieved. Then Odelle stumbles into a job as a typist in the Skelton Art Gallery and she realises that she has fond her niche. Her boss, Marjorie Quick is a fascinating and elusive character who Odelle longs to understand, while Quick, in her turn, takes Odelle under her wing and eventually confides in her.

 

The narrative weaves effortlessly between the two eras and drew me in with several unanswered questions. This is the type of book that always holds my attention, but The Muse had the added advantage of being beautifully written as well. 

If you enjoy dual era, historical novels I'm sure this one will be a great read for you too.

 

 

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review 2016-10-31 22:25
The Muse
The Muse - Jessie Burton

This book was initially all about the cover love for me - I could not stop looking at the cover whenever I saw it.  I also liked that the story line was about a lost painting, but I wasn't sure it was really my thing.  So I checked it out of the library, read the first bit, and bought the book for myself.  Then it went to the back burner during Halloween Book Bingo.

 

Last night I devoured the last 75%.  I was right, it's not quite my kind of jam, but it was so good.  The narrative is divided between two time-lines, the 1930's Spain, and the 1960's, London, but the author broke these up by sections, rather than chapters, which kept the transitions more seamless.   For me, at the beginning of the book, the predominant timeline was the 60's, but as the book progressed it rapidly became all about what happened in the 30's.  What an ungodly mess it was, too.

 

This is one of those books that stayed with me when I finished it and my thoughts are scattered all over the place about it, so I'll just say this:  the writing was gorgeous, the story was tragic, and oh I love that cover!

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text 2016-08-08 00:39
Reading progress update: I've read 281 out of 416 pages.
The Muse - Jessie Burton

I don't usually read contemporary fiction because I have found too many times that the hype is way more than it should be. The books often fall flat. But this book, while not stomach-churning, is wonderful and I can't put it down for long. It's a peaceful read, and it is just what I needed.

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text 2016-08-07 00:16
Reading progress update: I've read 27 out of 416 pages.
The Muse - Jessie Burton

So far I am very pleased with this writing style.

 

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