Everyday through December I’m publishing a blog post with a short review of one of my favourite books of 2019. Then I will publish a post with my favourite top ten at the beginning of January.
Today it’s Circe by Madeline Miller
Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child – not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens the gods, she is banished to the island of Aiaia where she hones her occult craft, casting spells, gathering strange herbs and taming wild beasts. Yet a woman who stands alone will never be left in peace for long – and among her island’s guests is an unexpected visitor: the mortal Odysseus, for whom Circe will risk everything.
So Circe sets forth her tale, a vivid, mesmerizing epic of family rivalry, love and loss – the defiant, inextinguishable song of woman burning hot and bright through the darkness of a man’s world.
I was really nervous about reading this novel, having loved, no adored beyond reason A Song for Achilles! I need not have worried, because Circe is a wonderful and imaginative tale and brings this little known character from Greek Myth to the modern reader. Full of gods and warriors, love and betrayal, epic in it’s feel, it is a captivating read.
About the author
Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. For the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students. She also studied in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where she teaches and writes. The Song of Achilles is her first novel. Website: http://www.madelinemiller.combout the author