Jessie Burton
The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist

This 2014 release got a ton of end-of-year buzz. The writing was solid but I ultimately found the story—an exploration of love, affluence, and greed—unsatisfying, because the author left some of the most compelling parts of the story unexplored. I wouldn't bother with this one if I had it to do over. I listened to this as an audiobook, and Davina Porter's narration was pitch-perfect.

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The Muse

The Muse

From the author of 2014's surprise sensation The Miniaturist. It was well-written and dripping with atmosphere but not quite to my taste, but I admired her skills enough to see how she does with different subject matter. Her new novel is about two strong women--one in 1967 London working at a prestigious art institute, one in 1936 Spain during its civil war. The women are connected through a painting of murky provenance. In alternating viewpoints, Burton examines how these women's lives are intertwined, and what it means for them both. Publication date July 26 2016.

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