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Richly engaging historical adventure in the vein of The Winter Palace and The Malice of Fortune.
Muse is the story of the charismatic woman who was the inspiration behind Petrarch's sublime love poetry. Solange Le Blanc begins life in the tempestuous streets of 14th century Avignon, a city of men dominated by the Pope and his palace. When her mother, a harlot, dies in childbirth, Solange is raised by Benedictines who believe she has the gift of clairvoyance. Trained as a scribe, but troubled by disturbing visions and tempted by a more carnal life, she escapes to Avignon, where she becomes entangled in a love triangle with the poet Petrarch, becoming not only his muse but also his lover.
Later, when her gift for prophecy catches the Pope's ear, Solange becomes Pope Clement VI's mistress and confidante in the most celebrated court in Europe. When the plague kills a third of Avignon's population, Solange is accused of sorcery and is forced once again to reinvent herself and fight against a final, mortal conspiracy.
Muse 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.
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Mary Novik's debut novel Conceit, about the daughter of the poet John Donne, was hailed as "a magnificent novel of seventeenth-century London" by The Globe and Mail. Chosen as a book of the year by both Quill & Quire and The Globe and Mail, Conceit was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller and won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Canada Reads named Conceit one of The Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade. Mary lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, and can be found at www.marynovik.com.Review:
“[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.”
— The Vancouver Sun
“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
“[Novik] masterfully inhabits the world of her characters so that the reader becomes immersed in their world in the most detailed and poetic of ways.... A treat to read and a terrific book for a book club to feast upon.”
"Mary Novik brings a literate woman out of the shadows of history. . . . A cross between Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. . . . There is no doubt that the sensational twists and turns of Novik’s plot, the rapid changes of scene, and the piling on of horrors, all combine to give this story a wide appeal.”
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Book Description Doubleday Canada, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11038566821X
Book Description Doubleday Canada, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M038566821X