From the number-one internationally best-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 woman in 1930s Spain - and the powerful mystery that ties them together.
England, 1967. Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean émigré trying to make her way in London. When she starts working at the prestigious Skelton Institute of Art, she discovers a painting rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles, a young artist of immense talent and vision whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is matched by the intrigue around the conflicting stories of its discovery. Drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions, Odelle does not know what to believe or who she can trust, including her mesmerizing colleague, Marjorie Quick.
Spain, 1936. Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer and an English heiress, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a poor, restless village on the southern coast. She grows close to Teresa, a young housekeeper, and Teresa's half brother, Isaac Robles, an idealistic and ambitious painter newly returned from the Barcelona salons. A dilettante buoyed by the revolutionary fervor that will soon erupt into civil war, Isaac dreams of being a painter as famous as his countryman, Picasso.
Raised in poverty, these illegitimate children of the local landowner revel in exploiting the wealthy Anglo-Austrians. Insinuating themselves into the Schloss family's lives, Teresa and Isaac help Olive conceal her artistic talents with devastating consequences that will echo into the decades to come.
Rendered in exquisite detail, The Muse is a passionate and enthralling tale of desire, ambition, and the ways in which the tides of history inevitably shape and define our lives.
©2016 Peebo & Pilgrim Limited (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Beautiful Performance by Bahni Turpin...
BUT Maria Elena Infantino's slow choppy reading is The Pits! I had to play her segments at 1.5 speed just to get through them... And even then, it was like ripping off a bandaid for eternity. The producers should've had Turpin read throughout - she is more than capable of handling the back and forth of time lapse that takes place in the story.
Very enjoyable story and Turpin's narration is wonderful. However, Infantino's narration is so unnatural sometimes I couldn't comprehend sentences and English is my mother tongue! It was like hearing someone who is learning English read a story with all the emphasis in the wrong places. I had to stop listening.
Turpin's narration of Odelle's story is lovely--4 stars.
But Infantino's narration has an awkward cadence, making sentences disjointed and confusing and sometimes sounding like a strange storytelling to children. In addition, her character accents change in and out within a conversation, making them difficult to follow.
Story was alright. Though I may have lost a fair amount due to the narration of the 1930s story.
Not my normal choice of genre, however, I am pleased that's I stretched my limits. I enjoyed the story, though it did drag for me in the parts in Spain. I liked the narrators
Was lucky enough to hear this young author speak and meet her at Literary Sojourn in Steamboat Springs. What a terrific follow up to the Miniturist. This was really well read and had delightful twists and turns.
The second narrator is IMPOSSIBLE to listen to!! I'd recommend just reading this one yourself. I'd return this if Audible allowed it.
I would recommend this book to anyone! It is wonderful to hear the voices of a diversity of people including that of a Caribbean migrant woman like myself so well depicted and interwoven in a story in which her identity is not the focus yet she is the center storyteller.
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