Books, Reading Challenge, reviews

2017 Reading Challenge Book 33 – The Muse

Hi, Hey, Hello!

We have now entered November, and as promised all the way back at the beginning of September this month is just all about the books and to start this off I am going to just basically go through all the books that need to be reviewed because I haven’t stopped reading, but I have stopped posting about it. So buckle in, the next few days are going to be all about the reviews, before it moves on to all about the books…

The first book up on this list is:

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 33, The Muse
2017 Reading Challenge, Book 33, The Muse

I was slightly apprehensive going into this book just because there were elements of her first book that I just didn’t like. But I did love her style of writing and so I was also excited to go back to her work.

I needn’t have been apprehensive, I loved this book. I loved the way that it felt like a puzzle and how all the pieces eventually slotted into place in a way that I was not expecting. I loved that it kept it on my toes and that just when I thought I might know where the hell it was going I was proved wrong. I loved the fact that it was told from two times in history and the two perspectives that it was told from. I loved that it felt like a fresh new thing that was totally unexpected. And I loved that it was a book that caused a reaction in me.

Due to poor planning on my part (I just didn’t read it when I said I would) I ended up having to take it to Greece with me and the ending of this book caught me so off guard that I reacted to it. Multiple times. It really came into its own as the book reached it’s climax. It took me places that I didn’t expect. It was weird, I thought I was kind of comfortable with it, but as I moved through it I realised that there was no such thing as comfortable with this book.

It moves between two different times and also two different countries. Following the narrative of two very different women. I will be honest, it took me a while to wonder why I should be at all invested in Olive’s side of the story and what relevance that had to Odelle. Like a real long time. I’m gonna say halfway through the book, which I’m aware is a very long time. I’m going to blame the fact that I was tired…

When it did finally click, holy shit. That was when it really ramped up for me. When the tension on the Olive side really started to come into it’s own and I started to get fully hooked. As the Olive side did that so did the Odelle one. And my god when that got into it’s stride and I got stressed. Which remained my state until I finished the book one hot day in Greece. And then kind of haunted me for a few weeks as I played over the events on the Spain side again and again.

That side is brutal. It starts out pretty tame, but then the conflict starts and Olive’s world becomes a murky place to flip back to. It’s violent and full of surprises and yeah, there is no happy ending there. I had to re-read sections of it just because I almost refused to believe that it was happening. It was that kind of book. Yeah, it caused some feelings to erupt. R was slightly confused at times with the way I reacted around her, but it was better to react around her then on a busy train with a bunch of strangers who just think you’re weird…I mean she still thought it was a bit weird, but she signed up for and is used to this.

Talking about Odelle’s side of the story. That one was more a slow burn in comparison. I mean it still ramped up as the narrative progressed but it was still tamer in comparison to Olive’s side. Moving through the story with her as she tries to find her place in London and try and figure how what part she now plays in this tangled web of art and ownership. Watching her slowly come into her own was a really great character arc to get invested in.

It turns out that this book is about so much more than just art, which upon reading the blurb was kind of what I was expecting. Obviously it’s not that one-dimensional. It’s so complex and it just keeps on revealing itself to you. Slowly, but effectively. It turns things that you think you might be comfortable with believing and knowing and then turns them on their heads. Characters keep on surprising you and you keep learning new things about them.

When everything falls into place it’s in a way that you don’t expect. At all. It’s thrilling and somehow both on a slow burn but also fast paced. It’s exciting and so beautifully written. That’s the one thing I always liked about Burton. Where I didn’t quite know where I stand with The Muse I did know that I loved the way she wrote. And this just cemented that.

It’s a heavy book. Heavier than I was expecting it to be. And it stuck with me while I wasn’t burrowed between the pages. But it’s such a worthwhile read. Everything about it is just wonderful.

4/5 stars

Parentheses count (oh welcome back that): 2. See you tomorrow!


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