The Muse

The Muse

Harper Perennial | August 1, 2017 | 416 pages

From the million-copy-selling author of The Miniaturist comes a captivating and brilliantly realized story of two young women—a Caribbean immigrant in 1960s London and a bohemian in 1930s Spain—and the powerful mystery that links them together July 1967, Mayfair, London—a painting left propped on the doorstep of the Skelton Gallery is discovered by Odelle Bastien, a Caribbean immigrant newly employed at the gallery and in thrall to her enigmatic colleague, Marjorie Quick. The painting is rumoured to be the work of Isaac Robles, whose mysterious death at the height of his artistic powers has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is matched only by the tension caused by the conflicting stories of its discovery. Odelle is unsure whom or what to believe as she finds herself drawn into a complex web of secrets and deception. Thirty years earlier, with Spain on the brink of civil war, Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a village in the south rife with unrest. It is here that Olive meets Maria Teresita and Maria’s half-brother, Isaac Robles, newly returned from the Paris salons, his head full of revolution and dreams of being as famous as Picasso. Both siblings are the illegitimate offspring of a local landowner and have nothing to lose when it comes to taking advantage of the new residents of their poverty-stricken town. They insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, helping to hide Olive’s own artistic talents while Isaac plays at both painting and political subversion. The consequences are devastating and echo throughout the decades to come. In vivid detail, acclaimed and bestselling author Jessie Burton spins a tale of desire, ambition and the ways in which the tides of history inevitably shape and define our lives.

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ISBN: 9781443444989

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