I am a big fan of Jessie Burton's writing. Her first book, The Miniaturist was published in hardback by Picador in July 2014, I reviewed it here on Random Things just after publication. Although historical fiction is not usually my favourite genre, I loved it. Here's a snippet from my review:
"The intrigue and mystery is artfully done, and although there were aspects that were more obvious than others, sometimes the reader takes a little pleasure in working it out before the big reveal. However, there are many other twists and turns that remained a mystery, and this balances out the story perfectly.
Jessie Burton has written a story that will interest and intrigue, in a setting that is wonderfully depicted and featuring characters who are complex but very believable."
Picador have recently released her second book in hardback. The Muse is another fabulous read, in fact I loved it more than The Miniaturist - probably because it is partly set in 1960s London, one of my favourite eras. It's a clever, immersive story that captured me from page one. I reviewed it here on Random Things last month. Here's a taste of what I had to say:
" I really enjoyed Jessie Burton's first novel, The Miniaturist, but I absolutely adored The Muse. It is a gripping, evocative and beautiful book, with characters who come alive and a plot that is unpredictable and surprising and wonderfully crafted. Absolutely wonderful, a book that I will be recommending to everyone I meet."
I was lucky enough to hear Jessie Burton speak about The Miniaturist when she toured the book and came to The Collection in Lincoln - the event was hosted by Lincoln's independent book shop, Lindum Books. Lindum Books is one of those treasure-trove bookshops, situated just off the Castle Square at the top of Steep Hill in Lincoln. Sasha and Gill are book lovers who have a wealth of knowledge. They are friendly and welcoming, the shop is a pure delight.
I was really excited to learn that Lindum Books were hosting an Afternoon Tea with Jessie Burton as part of her tour for The Muse, I snapped up a ticket months ago.
The event was held at The Drill Hall cafe in Lincoln. A fantastic arts venue in the heart of the city and perfect for such a literary delight. I arrived after a fraught journey, making my way through the hectic traffic and prowling the city car parks to find a space (Lincoln is a little bit of a nightmare at the moment due to the new Transport Hub that is being built - car parking spaces are scarce!).
The event was a sell-out and we were treated to tea and coffee in beautiful vintage china cups, along with an assortment of delicate sandwiches and of course, scones with jam!
Gill from Lindum Books interviewed Jessie, and it really was an interesting hour of discussion. Jessie talked about both of her books, her research, her inspiration. She talked about the magnificent cover designs and also gave a little insight into her working day, and how she likes to relax. She also talked about her very exciting news. The Miniaturist is going to be a BBC series!
We were able to ask lots of questions and Jessie answered them all for us. She's an inspiring and entertaining speaker, and Gill is a great interviewer. It really was a fabulous way to spend a Wednesday afternoon. We were able to get our books signed by Jessie afterwards. I do love a signed copy of a book that I've loved.