Author: Madeline Miller
Year published: 201
- Plot: 5/5
- Characters: 5/5
- Writing: 5/5
- Overall: ☆☆☆☆☆
Wow. Just wow.
I could give this book all the stars in the sky and it still wouldn’t be enough to convey how much I loved it.
The entire book revolved around Circe, who in Greek mythology appears in the Odyssey when Odysseus washes up on her island. She is also a goddess of magic and a witch. It was written in the first person, from Circe’s perspective. Normally, I find books written in the first person frustrating but her voice was so raw and compelling that it reeled me in and refused to let go. I felt as if I were Circe. I didn’t just feel what it was like to ‘be in her shoes’ I felt what it was like to wear her skin, to fear her fears and to think her thoughts. I was fully immersed in the story.
“I will not be like a bird bred in a cage, I thought, too dull to fly even when the door stands open. I stepped into those woods and my life began.”
Circe wasn’t like the figures we tend to see in mythogy- lofty gods and heroes that seem so unfathomable and perfect. Circe seemed real. She had flaws. She suffered heartbreak, loss and isolation. These things broke her, shattered her into millions of pieces but she then built herself back into what she wanted to become. Despite all the challenges she faced, she was just as great as any almighty god or glorious hero in that she never let anyone crush her, never conformed to what anyone else wanted her to become and took her fate into her own hands.
Furthermore, I thought the way Miller incorporated so many other myths and legends into the story was brilliant. There were references to the Minotaur story, the Iliad, the Argonautica, Scylla and much more.
This was a magical, inspirational read and it is one of my favourite novels of all time and a piece of my heart will always reside in this book. I will never forget Circe’s story.