The character Circe is from Greek mythology but it does not matter one iota if you have ever read about her before. In Madeline Miller’s fantastic novel, Circe is a completely realized character. She is misunderstood by her parents (who happen to be Titans), is unsure of her place in the world (albeit one inhabited by gods and monsters), and struggles to discern her own powers and self-worth. Yes, she is one of mythology’s most famous nymphs who becomes a witch (pejorative term for a gifted herbalogist), but she is also a truly engaging female in a world dominated by males. She is a hero and her story is captivating from beginning to end.
Madeline Miller is a very gifted writer and I have been eagerly awaiting her next book after having truly enjoyed her first novel “The Song of Achilles” (see an earlier blog post for that novel). Miller connects to the elements of her characters which have made them so compelling over generations. Mythologies speak to us because they help us look at the world through a new lens. Sometimes the world of gods and monsters reflect our own human world just so perfectly. In Madeline Miller’s books you will be taken on a wild ride and you will learn something about yourself as well.
In the pages of this book you will encounter Helios, Daedalus, Jason, Zeus, Athena, Scylla, Telemachus, Telegonus, Odysseus, and many other gods, monsters, and freaks. The character who will stay with you and who will fire your imagination, will be Circe!
- Incidentally, my daughter got to this book book ahead of me this time–and she loved it too.