The Muse, a DNF review

The Muse by Jessie Burton is a historical fiction that was on my tbr since around 2016. Slightly ridiculous, so when I pulled this out of the tbr jar I knew I had to finally give it a shot. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a success and I ended up DNFing this 😢

Don’t get me wrong, this book has a fascinating concept. It is set in two time periods. The 30s and the 60s. In the 30s we’re following a young white woman who is an artist but her father doesn’t believe women can paint. In the 60s we’re following a young Black woman who has moved to the UK from Trinidad and is trying to earn a living in a racist society.

There were some racist slurs used within this book, and Burton also writes certain sections in Trinidadian Creole, I had been concerned about this being a racist portrayal. However, I found some positive reviews from own voices reviewers about this depiction being surprisingly accurate. Just something to consider as you read.

Unfortunately, despite the concept of the book being interesting it just didn’t spark with me and I kept really struggling to pick the book up. This was my first foray back into historical fiction (that wasn’t fantastical or a reread) after a long while, and unfortunately this doesn’t seem like the choice for me.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 6, Writing: 6, Plot: 6, Intrigue: 6, Logic: 6, and Enjoyment: 3 giving a score of 5.71 and a 3* rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: sexism, racism, racial slurs, sexual content.

This was definitely a big disappointment for me, partly because it had been sat on my tbr for so long! I’m still debating whether I’m going to return to this in the future or if the book is going to be rehomed. I’m leaning more towards rehoming the book, because I think it could find a lot of love!

Have you read The Muse, or anything else by Jessie Burton? What did you think of the read??

The Giver of Stars, a review

My absolutely wonderful best friend Georgia gifted me The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes for my birthday in 2020… I think? Or was it 2019? What is time? (check out her art Instagram here 😍) and I finally got around to it! She picked me it up because of its gorgeous cover (she knows me so well) and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it because it’s not my usual genre.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes | Waterstones
The Give of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Turns out I really need to start trusting her more with books she recommends because I loved it!!

This is a historical fiction which follows a young English woman who marries an American tycoon and moves to the US to his small town. She immediately feels trapped in this world where they expect her to be a certain type of woman and behave in a certain type of way. She also feels lonely. But one day they’re requesting for people to ride horses around the county and deliver library books, and despite her new husbands protests, she signs up. And her life is forever changed.

This was such a heartfelt book! I teared up at the end!

I did have a few issues here and there with some representation, but I think it was done with good intentions and so it only pulls the book down slightly.

On CAWPILE I rated this:

Characters: 9

Atmosphere: 9

Writing: 8

Plot: 7

Intrigue: 8

Logic: 9

Enjoyment: 9

Giving a grand total of 8.43 which is a 4* rating!

Overall this is a really lovely historical fiction that I enjoyed reading and I’m glad Georgia picked it up for me because I don’t think I would’ve read it otherwise!

Have you read this? Or any of Moyes other works? Let me know what you thought of them!!