2 Book Lovers Reviews
I know what you’re thinking, do we really need another story about Odysseus and his voyage home after the sack of Troy? Well, Claire North says yes, and I wholeheartedly agree. And the story isn’t about Odysseus, you misogynistic pig, assuming it is about the man, this story is about Penelope. And it’s about damn time we got her story!
Penelope’s story is one that is long overdue; her husband was gone away to war for ten years, and then missing on his was back for ten more. Homer offers us this brief impersonal view of the loyal wife. Assuming that Odysseus was dead, they came suiting her hand…sorry, her kingdom in marriage. She has a few tricks up her sleeve to delay them, but these come across as an extension of Cunning Odysseus. Penelope had her own waters to navigate, a kingdom to manage, a gaggle of leeches to not marry. How did Penelope pull all of that off while her husband was “trapped” on a mythical island screwing the nymph Calypso every night for seven years?
My favorite part of Ithaca? The narrator. I did listen to the Audible version of the book, so I did get Catrin Walker-Booth’s narration which was superb; but I am talking about the POV from the book, the Immortal Hera. Walker-Booth’s rich English accent combined with Hera’s I am so much better than all of these mere morals, combined into narration perfection. I felt the contempt that Hera feels for men and gods alike, the love that she embraced for her three queens of Greece. This combination gave the story layers, bringing it to the next level.
Ithaca is an old story made anew. It is one long overdue, told from a fresh perspective.