"With Muse, Novik has crafted a heroine who pushes against the constraints of her time and station, placing her in a richly imagined world that thrums with life." --The Globe and Mail
Solange begins life in the poor streets of 14th century Avignon. When her mother, a harlot, dies in childbirth, Solange is raised by nuns who believe she has the gift of clairvoyance. But after several years in the nunnery where she learns how to write and how to have visions, she escapes to become a scribe in the dirty streets of Avignon, where she meets the poet Petrarch and becomes not only his muse, but his lover.
Later, when her gift for prophecy catches the Pope's ear, Solange becomes Clement VI's mistress and confidante in the most celebrated court in Europe. When the plague kills over a third of Avignon's population and Solange is accused of witchcraft, she's forced yet again to reinvent herself and fight against a final, mortal conspiracy.This is a sweeping historical epic that magically evokes the Renaissance, capturing a time and place caught between the shadows of the past and the promise of a new cultural awakening.
1. In The Golden Legend, the book read aloud at mealtimes in the abbey, many female saints are tortured or mutilated (losing heads, breasts, eyes, or teeth) because they refuse to sacrifice their virginity. How do these stories resonate with Solange in Muse?
2. Born at Pentecost,...
"[Muse] is rich and powerful, wiser than it may initially appear, and thought-provoking on a number of levels. Solange herself is a stunning fictional creation, and her story unfolds with the austerity and seeming inevitability of a classical tragedy." --Vancouver Sun