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Muse is a 2013 novel by the Canadian author Mary Novik and her second book. It was first published on August 13, 2013 through Doubleday Canada and is set in 14th century Avignon. The book follows Solange, a fictional character based on Laura de Noves, the mistress of the Italian poet Francesco Petrarch, and the unnamed mother of his children. An Italian translation entitled L'amante del Papa was also released in 2013, through Newton Compton Editori.
Muse (novel) Wikipedia
The story is narrated by Solange Le Blanc, a young woman that has been raised in a Benedictine nunnery from birth and trained to be a scribe. However she's also believed to be clairvoyant and the nuns believe that Solange will make their nunnery famous, even though her visions are frequently disturbing and eventually cause her to flee to Avignon, where she tries to find work as a scribe. It's through her work as a scribe that she meets Petrarch and the two begin a torrid affair.
Critical reception for Muse has been positive and the Winnipeg Free Press wrote that "As literary fiction, Muse is an illuminating portrait of women struggling to have it all, including lovers, children, fortune and prominence, despite whatever pain they endure." Quill & Quire praised the work, writing "At times, Muse tips into melodrama, but it highlights an intriguing and admirably resilient figure. Solange recognizes and embraces her sins, her weaknesses, and her desire for romantic and carnal love."