Author: Madeline Miller
Publication Date: 2018
Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing
Last week I finished both Circe and The Woman in the Window. I enjoyed them both in their own ways but of the two Circe was my favorite. Of course they are in two separate genres and I can’t really compare the two. Let’s simplify it down to the fact that while I enjoy the occasional thriller the fantasy genre will always be my go to. Now onto the story.
Circe is the daughter of the Titan Helios. She is a minor goddess. Most of us that went to public school and had to read The Odyssey know her as one of the trials that Odysseus must face on the way home to Ithaca after 10 years of fighting at Troy. She turns his men into pigs. I will argue night and day that Odysseus really sucks as a leader. That to face his trials and survive as a hero ancient bards had to sacrifice his ability to lead his men and thus keep them alive. But enough of Odysseus.
Miller writes Circe in an autobiographical way. Circe is telling her own story from birth to when she decides to make a change. The reader experiences her growth and failures side-by-side with her. Her love and her pain. We learn what caused Circe to start changing men into pigs. And we meet the influential mortals that walked for a moment into her life. Besides Odysseus she meets Jason and my favorite, Daedalus.
The author expands upon the myths we grew up reading. She brings life, like a goddess herself, to old stories that have gone without change since they were put to paper. This book paints a new light not just on Circe but on the other immortals of the ancient Greek world as well: the Olympians and the Titans. I particularly enjoyed the interaction and politics that keeps the balance between the old gods and the new.
If you haven’t picked up this book yet, I highly encourage it. The writing is beautiful and the story is told simply but it makes you think. If you have read it, I’d love to know what you though and if you have reviewed it please comment with the link to your review. Also, I got my copy of Circe from Book of the Month, if you are interested click here. Have a great Monday.