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The Muse Discussion Guide: Home

Jessie Burton

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Information about the author is available on her website.

Articles, Interviews, and Reviews

Other Works by Jessie Burton


Discussion Questions

(From Picador)

1. The Muse weaves together stories set in 1960s London and 1930s Spain. How evocative did you find these settings and what did you learn about life at that time? Did you prefer one of these plot strands to the other? 

2. Odelle and Olive both have to overcome obstacles in order to pursue their artistic passions. Are there other similarities between these two characters? 
3. Of all the characters in the novel, whose life do you feel was most affected by the painting that connects them all? 
4. There are many examples of a close female friendship in the novel – which left the deepest impression on you? Would you say the characters’ friendships or their romantic relationships ultimately shaped them most? 
5. What did you make of Isaac Robles and his involvement in both the Schloss family and the rising tensions in Spain?
6. Teresa struggles to keep Olive’s secret. Do you feel she acted with Olive’s best interests at heart? What would you have done? 
7. What did you make of Marjorie Quick and her role in Odelle’s life? 
8. The Muse explores the relationship between an artist or writer and their creative work – how important do you think the identity of the creator is to a piece of art or writing? 
9. The women in The Muse all hide a part of themselves. Why do you think they each feel compelled to do so, and are there similar pressures on women today? 
10. Has a book or work of art ever changed your life – if so, what was it and can you describe the effect it had on you?


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