Report on Book Group Meeting - Meeting, Monday, 11 February 2019

The group met on Monday evening to discuss "The Muse" by Jessie Burton. This is the author's second novel - we read the much-acclaimed "The Miniaturist" in 2017 and awarded it 6/10; a bit of a Marmite book as some of us loved it and others hated it!
"The Muse" is set in London in 1967 and Spain in 1936 and the plot is interwoven with the stories of the main characters, Odelle, from Trinidad and Olive, an English girl living in Spain with her parents. The story touches on the racism suffered by Odelle and the prejudice against female artists in the 1930s. Both women have difficulties pursuing their chosen careers of author and artist and their story is woven around a painting of Saints Justa and Rufina who were martyred in 287AD in Spain. We thought that the novel was well-written and researched but it was a complex story and some of us found it difficult to get to the stage where we actually wanted to know what happened next. Most of us enjoyed this second novel much more than Ms Buton's first and accordingly our scores ranged between 5 and 9 with an overall score of 7½.
We shall meet next month to discuss "Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje, author of "The English Patient".
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