I just finished reading Madeline Miller's Circe, another Parnassus Book Club pick, and I really loved this book. I read it in just a few days, despite all the schoolwork I should've been doing during that time. The ending moved me to tears, not because of a tragic end, but rather because the book was over, and I had to move on with my life.
Miller traces her way through a significant portion of Greek mythological history and epic poetry through the eyes of Circe. Circe is mainly known for her role in delaying Odysseus on his epic journey home, but Miller creates a powerful feminist figure in a world populated by gods, monsters, magic, and men. Told in the first person entirely from Circe's viewpoint, Miller's characters breathe personality and life, and her world bleeds violence and fear and power. Her prose was descriptive and utterly enthralling; I was desperate to keep reading the entire time. From the tensions (and politics) between the Titans and the Olympians, the tales of Daedalus, the Minotaur, and Medea, to the events of the Odyssey, years of Greek story flow by Circe's secluded island of Aiaia. This book tickles all those half-remembered memories of Greek and Classical mythology and Homerian epics that you forgot about and brings them back in a way that brings new narratives forward.
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