Greek mythology is filled with women. Many of these women were portrayed in a villainous or destructive role: Pandora, Clytemnestra, Helen, Medea…and Circe, to name a few. Why the Greeks did this is a completely separate topic, but they did. I love what Madeline Miller has done with Circe, she has taken one of the most famous villainous Greek women and she has shown her readers the other side of the story.
Miller has given us a Circe who was a victim herself, a sympathetic character who was protecting herself and those that she loved and cared about. I was captivated by this new perspective, reversing the roles. Her choice of Circe makes perfect sense, she kept close enough to the mythology that no one can say that’s not how it happened, and she made it her own. She did not release all of the evils upon humanity nor did she kill her own children to get back at her ex-husband. It would be a little harder to smooth those over.
Circe also became the story of Odysseus, from her perspective. This isn’t the Odysseus that I remember from mythology. Miller has certainly painted him in a different light, he becomes deinos Odysseus in all of its meanings.
Beyond all of what Miller did, she wrote an incredible story. I loved every moment that I spent with her characters.
2 Book Lovers Reviews