Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Muse, a novel by Mary Novik

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This is not my usual genre.  The last 3 books I read prior to this were World War Z, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane and The Killing Floor.  Why did I read this novel?  It was given to me for a book club discussion.  Reading the cover, and knowing what little time I had to barrel through a book in two weeks, I was skeptical that I could finish it on time for the meeting.  To my joyful surprise I flew through it!   I can honestly say I was blown away by the beauty and poetry of the author's prose. 

The synopsis on the book's jacket really does not do the story justice.  Understandably, I can see how difficult it must be to describe such an epic tale in less than 100 words.  At it's heart, Muse is a story about strength, love and survival.

Birthing a female character into the first half of the 14th century strikes me as a terrifying decision.  What rights would she have, what voice, what influence?   These questions plagued me throughout the book, and yet Mary Novik created numerous strong, honest and relate-able female characters - relate-able even today. 
The story, characters and writing are equally rich and colorful - at times Shakespearean.  I must admit, I required my Dictionary.com app to define (and sound out) a handful of the early French Renaissance phrases and words.  However, I found this just added to the scope and depth of the writing.  

The ending was brilliant, real, and satisfying.  As her story unfolded, Solange inspired me to risk loving deeper, to hold my head high, and perhaps to write more often. 

To Mary Novik:  you have insipred me to write this review at 11pm, on a school night after I had been at my office job for 12 hours.   Is it you or Solange that is the true Muse?

Information about Mary Novik and her books can be found on her website: MaryNovik.com 

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