The Muse - Jessie Burton
***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 (Goodreads)
After seeing this in the window of just about every bookshop, and seeing the reviews almost everywhere, I finally caved in on a Sainsbury's shop and bought it. I only gave the blurb a quick glance after falling in love with the artwork on the cover.
I never used to like historic novels, but the dual narration in The Muse makes it relatable while also providing constant twists in the plot. And I can see why all of the reviews of this are all so good! I was a bit sceptical at first, not too used to the time setting and worried on whether the novel would take too much of a focus on romance, but it definitely didn't!
I couldn't take my mind away from this book. I was ranting about it in my literature lessons (and my essays) while I was reading it, absolutely glued to the mystery of the painting.
I don't usually keep up to date with bestsellers, because most of the time I'm not too fussed on whether the book is popular or not. But I'm happy that for once, I did pay attention, and I picked up this book. I can't forget it, and I'll definitely keep going back for another read. That's the sign of a really good book to me!
Have you read The Muse? Let me know how you felt about it in the comments.
And here's some links if you want to get a copy for yourself!