Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Wayward Muse by: Elizabeth Hickey

Jane is a plain, ordinary girl. Until she meets Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an artist, who immediately calls her his muse, paying her to sit for him for a painting as Guinevere. From there on, she's smitten. And soon, she's convinced she's in love.

But then, he suddenly leaves for Oxford, leaving her heartbroken. In his absence, she marries his friend, William Morris. He's not as passionate as Rossetti, and not as handsome, but he'll do, because he has money and she knows she'll never find a better proposal than his.

As the novel progresses, it deals with their love affair, her (mostly dull) marriage with Morris, and the decisions they've both made in their lives.

When I first read the inside jacket of The Wayward Muse, I thought it would be a great read, especially because I love period novels. However, I really found myself struggling to finish. In the span of two-hundred some pages, thirteen years passes...quickly. Which I didn't really like. And none of the characters (who were based off the real life painter, poet, and their muse) had emotive characteristics. I couldn't feel sympathy with Jane, or with Rossetti. They both came off as shallow and immature.

The details of some things were good, and the secondary characters weren't too bad, but overall, I didn't enjoy the novel as much as I thought I would.

My rating: 4/10

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